Derry Girls star Tara Lynne O’Neill urges kids to enter girls’ football story competition

Actress and playwright Tara Lynne 0’Neill, known for her role as Ma Mary in Derry Girls, is backing a new initiative to get young girls playing soccer, whilst inspiring their creative side too.

Tuesday, 20th April 2021, 12:07 pm
Actor and playwright Tara Lynne O'Neill with the help of Alice Smyth, launches Electric Ireland's Shooting For The Stars Children's Competition

The Belfast-born star is supporting Electric Ireland’s Shooting For The Stars Children’s Competition, which is inviting boys and girls between the ages of 7-11 who are interested in football and stories, to sharpen their pencils, ‘boot up’ the laptops and create their very own story about girls’ football.

The competition follows hot-on the heels of the Northern Ireland women’s football team’s historic qualification for the Euros.

The winner will have their story illustrated by a professional illustrator and produced in a book by Blackstaff Press which will then be distributed through the Irish FA Shooting Stars network and will be made available to schools and libraries across Northern Ireland. There will be two runners-up each of whom will receive a prize of a NI kit and a Shooting for the Stars book.

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The stories will be judged by a panel led by Tara Lynne O’Neill who will be supported by illustrator Rory Jeffers, Gail Redmond, women’s development officer at the Irish FA and Clare McAllister, Northern Ireland residential manager, Electric Ireland.

Tara Lynne, who has written Rough Girls a play about women’s football and is a keen supporter of the game, said: “I am genuinely excited to be involved in this wonderful project.”

She added: “Women’s football is a subject very close to my heart and I believe that the Electric Ireland Shooting for the Stars book will be an inspiration to many girls.

“I would encourage all parents and families of children aged between 7-11 to support their child in getting involved in this fantastic project. To children I would say, let your imagination run wild, your story can be about one girl or about a whole team of game changing girls who are shooting for the stars, just get creative and get your thoughts down on paper.”

Gail Redmond, said: “Interest in the women’s game is growing all the time so this is a great time to launch this competition with Electric Ireland Game Changers campaign to highlight the importance of sport for young girls who have an interest in football.”

Clare McAllister, added: “Along with the other judges, I’m excited to read the stories we will receive and see the winning entry take shape as a book that will be shared amongst girls across Northern Ireland.”

*The competition closes on May 14, 2021 at 5pm.

Details on how to enter can be found at