Game on for Mark’s app
BANTRY BLUES GAA coaching officer Mark O’Donovan has been delighted with the success his GAA app has made since it was officially launched at the annual GAA Games Development Conference in Croke Park in January 2017.
Mark made a return visit to Croke Park recently for the annual conference as he looked to further cement his groundbreaking app on a national level.
Mark came up with the concept for Play Us GAA three years ago, largely borne out of a frustration, following the tough task he encountered with his underage Bantry Blues football team as they attempted in vain to arrange challenge games.
Mark designed Play Us GAA, which makes it easier for GAA coaches to arrange challenge games against local teams and teams from neighbouring counties.
The novel concept, which is very user friendly, can also be used to arrange blitzes and tournaments, and can cater for any age group.
Mark was delighted with the feedback he encountered in Croke Park again recently.
“The national coaching conference is a brilliant event for promoting Play Us GAA,” he said.
“The coaches attending the event are so positive and enthusiastic. The lads in Croke Park are very good to us and help us with organising our promotion stand and make us very welcome. It was a very successful event.”
coaching guru got through a lot of vital and necessary networking at the conference as he met up with many GAA coaches and players who offered him great feedback on his successful app which greatly aides the ability of clubs to play more games.
This in turn ensures players are receiving more valuable game time and honing their skills.
Mark has been delighted with the success of Play Us GAA — and revealed that he is currently working on a new version which he hopes will be a similar success.
“We spent a good bit of time this year going to some of the talks.
“The standard of speaker was outstanding with some brilliant messages.
“The greatest benefit to us from the conference is the people we meet, which helps us to make new contacts all over the country.
“Play Us GAA spread well enough last year.
“We are working on version 2 at the moment with the GAA and once it is ready to launch, we will be increasing our marketing big time.”
Mark has received great praise and support since the initial launch of Play Us GAA, and has been delighted with the support from GAA personnel and clubs on a national basis.
“It has been a huge learning experience since the launch 12 months ago.
“People have been very supportive. The changes that we make this year will enhance the app no end.
“We will be going straight to the clubs with version 2, which will make it much easier to spread the app, hence making it more beneficial to all.”
Play Us GAA was launched and built specifically for the GAA, but the same code could be used for all sports.
The app helps to address the training to game imbalance in sport.
Mark has been helped immensely by brand ambassaThe dors and Cork football stars Graham Canty and Ruairi Deane, two club colleagues of his. “I would like to thank everyone that helped spread Play Us GAA so far.
“It is very encouraging to see positivity in peoples actions.
“I get messages of support from people all the time about the app.
“Ruairi and Graham are fantastic ambassadors for Play Us GAA. I cannot thank them enough for the time and effort that they have put into promoting it.
“I’m very lucky to have the family, friends and club that I have, otherwise this journey would have ended last year.”
Mark also fulfills a vital role as Coaching Officer with the Carbery Divisional Board.
He is very optimistic with regard the coaching structures they are implementing in the division at present.
“My first year as Carbery coaching officer was encouraging to be honest; I found the board to be supportive and encouraging.
“We have been working with James McCarthy and Cork GAA on a couple of school projects, but to be honest we are only scratching the surface.
“I would like to see the number of coaches employed by Cork GAA dramatically increased and a combined approach between club, divisions, schools and county on the fixture programme.
“I know this would not be easy, but I believe that there are enough very good people involved all over the county to make a difference.”
The President of the GAA Aogan O Fearghail with Cork senior footballer Ruairi Deane and Bantry Blues coaching officer Mark O’Donovan.