Gerald in es start coaching in three local schools
THE coaches at Geraldines GFC are going back to school - but this time they’ll be the ones doing the teaching!
The progressive Haggardstown/Blackrock club have launched an exciting coaching programme in each of the three schools in their catchment area and the initiative is already proving a big hit with pupils.
There is a growing concensus that schools coaching is the way forward for GAA clubs and even county boards, and a forward-thinking Geraldines committee are grasping the nettle by sending coaches into St Fursey’s NS, St Oliver Plunkett NS and St Francis NS,
With considerable financial support from programme sponsors Frank Lynch & Co. Accountants, up to 30 club coaches will run sessions for first and second class pupils one morning a week for six weeks.
St Francis NS in Blackrock and St Fursey’s NS in Haggardstown are currently availing of the programme and Blackrock NS will start their six-week run after the Halloween break.
And after Christmas they’ll be back for another six-week run in each of the three schools, meaning pupils will avail of 12 weeks coaching in total.
The following year the programme will be expanded, with two more classes in each school coming on board until every child in each of the three schools is being catered for.
The club have engaged Ulster-based company Healthy Kids to design and implement the sessions, but it will be delivered by club coaches, spearheaded by Tom Rogers.
It’s a big undertaking, but one vice-chairman Brian Cafferty feels will be worthwhile.
‘We want to introduce kids to the GAA in a fun environment,’ he said during a session in the hugely impressive St Francis NS gym. ‘ This area has a huge transient population with no great tradition in the GAA. A lot of people have moved into the parish over the last few years and we’re hoping this will give kids a link to the club and encourage them to get involved. But if nothing else they’ll get all the exercise fundamentals such as balance and movement.
‘We spoke to officials from St Colmcilles in East Meath who would be in a similar position to ourselves, so they helped us to design and implement the programme.
‘ This is the approach that’s been adopted in Dublin and Monaghan and it’s certainly working there.’
‘And obviously we couldn’t do it without Frank Lynch & Co and we’re very grateful to them and we’re lucky to have them on board. We’re very grateful to the schools too, Oreena Lawless here at St Francis, and the other principals, for letting us come in and do the coaching.’
Ciaran Lynch from Frank Lynch & Co. added: ‘For us it’s about the Geraldines being part of the community and the community being part of the Geraldines and we’re delighted to be involved in the initiative. It’s about building the GAA from the group up and getting more participation in sport.’
Kieran Lynch of Frank Lynch & Company, with Brain Caffery, Fiona Corrigan, Colin Corrigan, Tom Rodgers, Conan Judge and Gavin Clarke, Geraldines GFC, Oreena Lawless, Principal, St. Francis NS,
Coach, Conan Judge, Geraldines GFC with Grace at the GAA coaching programme in St. Francis NS, Blackrock sponsored by Frank Lynch & Company.