Kelly relishing role with Graduate programme
HE was an integral part of the St John’s side who won the Intermediate championship a few weeks ago and aside from his footballing duties Tommy Kelly is relishing his role as a coach with Sligo GAA.
The IT Sligo graduate said he’s really enjoying the yearlong programme which links up with Sligo GAA. He told the Sligo Champion: “First off I did Sport and Recreational Leisure in the college and then I popped 4th year of Business and then when I finished the 4th year, this graduate programme came about. I had done an awful lot of coaching through the years with Liam Óg and with Sligo when it came up I said I’d go for it and thankfully I got it!
“I was the first year of it, started in September of last year. It’s really good, it’s very enjoyable. Again it’s great to come out of college and straight into work. From a sporting background it’s handy to have and it’s interesting.”
Tommy is based in Sligo town, covering all the schools in that region. “I cover from Carraroe out as far as Grange. The first year I was out West and now since September I’ve been in the town, so it’s seeing all the different schools which is good.
“I’m solely coaching football, I’ve never played hurling but an awful lot of it kind of overlaps too.”
He said parts of the coaching can be challenging at times. “When you’re out in the same school for six or seven weeks, you don’t want to be doing the same thing every week, so you have to come up with your own programme.
“You set out a programme for the six or seven weeks and you need to make sure it’s fun as well as making sure they’re learning new skills and improving as well,” he ppointed out. Tommyy said another enjoyable joyable aspectpect of coachachingg is seeeingg the young ung playersayers improveove their skill-skillsetsts over time. “That’s another ggood part, seeing how they improve say after the six weeks or that.” that. TomTom is mymy coaching both primary and secondary school students. “I’m in Summerhill College and Grange and Easkey too.
“Coaching both is completely different. In terms of the secondary schools, they want to be there, they are coming out after school to be there. Whereas with the primary schools, you have the mix of people who have never played sport. The youngsters are more fun, especially when you see someone at the start who might be timid and isn’t so into sport and then you see them after six weeks and they’re just enjoying themselves.
“As the graduates, it’s just Aaron and myself but then there’s Pat Kilcoyne and Ross Donovan who are the other two football coaches, and Benny Kenny is the hurling coach.
“There’s six of us altogether, including Liam Óg.”
Tommy said the coaching setup is becoming more and more professional every year. I suppose they kind of have to like the main rivals of Gaelic is soccer and rugby and they are both professional sports, you know there’s professional bodies above them.
“You’ve got to keep up to the competition. It’s good to have the competition, it gives you a bar to reach to,” he added.
Tommy is also helping coach with his own club St John’s whenever he can. “The facilities here in Scarden are fantastic, they make life an awful lot easier.
Tommy said from a career point of view he is looking at joining the gardaí down the line. “I enjoy coaching but I’d probably go for the guards. I’ve looked at primary school teaching but the Irish would be a little bit of a problem!,” he laughed.
Anyone interested in the Graduate programme should contact Roddy Gaynor in IT Sligo.