IT Sligo and GAA give graduates introduction to working life
A new graduate programme between IT Sligo and Sligo GAA is giving students the opportunity to work for a year coaching young players throughout the county. After finishing their Business Sport and Recreaction course, the graduates come work with Sligo GAA for the year. It’s an initiative that’s been working well for everyone says Sligo GAA Games Manager Liam ÓG Gormley. He explained how it works. “Last year Tommy Kelly came on board with us for the first year. The programme is for guys that are finishing college, 4th year in the IT, we give them a year’s experience of working . So it helps them with getting jobs into the future, where a lot of employers are looking for experience. A lot don’t have that so we offer them an opportunity to come working with us. We’ve Aaron Breslin and Tommy with us this year. We’re covering all our primary schools with a 7-week block before Christmas and an 8-week block after Christmas so all the schools will be covered. Tommy works ththe North Division side of gives t things, them and the Aaron opportuniis in the West. The programme is going very well, the two guys are fantastic and it tyty to learn and improve or helping them on upskillining. Both are working on ththeir Connacht Strength and Conditioning Programme at the moment,” Liam Óg said. Another bonus is the fact the coaches are getting a steady wage too. “It’s a paid programme for the year and it’s brilliant for us because it allows us instead of having two football guys on the ground now we’ve four. The other massive plus for us is that they’re linked into clubs, they’re linked into coach education, they’re linked into squads. They’re using the skills they’re learning back in their own clubs too. Both are still playing football and that’s helping their football too, I know Tommy had a great year with St John’s, Aaron won their League up in Donegal as well. When they’re coaching, it improves their own football as well but from our side of things, it means we have more support on the ground.
“The link with IT Sligo and the Sport and Recreation course with Roddy Gaynor is a massive plus, because it means you’ve got guys that are interested in sport and they want to look into whether a career in sport or working in sport while doing a different career, they want to get involved in sport from that side of things.
“In all fairness the two boys have been a breath of fresh air and bring in a new bit of life.” Liam Óg said the programme’s plans are to keep one graduate on each year. “The placement year will be coming back in the IT next year so we’ll have to look and see. If we can come up with another small bit of funding, we might look at keeping the second graduate along with the programme. Having the link with the IT is a massive support,” Liam Óg added.
Coaches Tommy Kelly and Aaron Breslin in Scarden with the young footballers. Both are graduates from IT Sligo. Pics: Donal Hackett.
Sligo GAA Games Manager, Liam Óg Gormley.