Kelly rel­ish­ing role with Grad­u­ate pro­gramme

The Sligo Champion - - SPORT -

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.

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