‘Health and well­be­ing is the cor­ner­stone of our youth...’

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SOUTH KERRY GAA -

SOUTH Kerry as a ge­o­graph­i­cally pe­riph­eral area has al­ways had to con­tend with the many so­cial and eco­nomic chal­lenges that re­sult from a lack of in­vest­ment and em­i­gra­tion. A sit­u­a­tion echoed in most ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties all along the western se­aboard. Lim­ited em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties and a per­cep­tion that the fu­ture lies else­where has meant young peo­ple are ex­pe­ri­enc­ing pres­sures and stresses above and be­yond the usual de­mands of school life, teenage de­vel­op­ment and aca­demic ex­pec­ta­tions.

We, as a dis­trict board, be­lieve that we have an op­por­tu­nity and per­haps even a duty to ad­dress these is­sues so that our young peo­ple, who are our fu­ture, can be sup­ported, en­cour­aged and equipped to deal with the chal­lenges that they are faced with. Our most re­cent ini­tia­tive has in­volved the set­ting-up of a “Health and Well Be­ing” group which is an ef­fort to do just that. This group com­pris­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous sport­ing groups, health-care pro­fes­sion­als and peo­ple who work with chil­dren and youth groups, has been for­mu­lated with the in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing sup­ports for our young peo­ple in terms of ed­u­ca­tion, gen­eral in­for­ma­tion and de­vel­op­ing the nec­es­sary re­silience and skills to help them cope with the many temp­ta­tions and de­mands which are placed upon them.

We also hope to en­cour­age parental par­tic­i­pa­tion in our ini­tia­tive and pro­vide the nec­es­sary in­for­ma­tion to help them to fur­ther sup­port our youth. Plans are in place to fundraise for the pro­vi­sion of the nec­es­sary ser­vices and to sup­port the sec­ondary school in South Kerry, Coláiste na Sceilge, and the lo­cal GAA clubs with what­ever is deemed nec­es­sary.

As all the young peo­ple from this area at­tend CNS dur­ing their teenage years, and as many of them are in­volved with their lo­cal GAA clubs, we feel these are the best means by which we can com­mu­ni­cate with young peo­ple. It is hoped that we might also be in a po­si­tion to in­crease par­tic­i­pa­tion in sports, (all sports, not just those un­der the um­brella of the GAA) as it is ac­knowl­edged that this is a very im­por­tant area for our young peo­ple bear­ing in mind the ben­e­fits from a health and well-be­ing per­spec­tive. Our health is our wealth and our youth is our fu­ture.

Michael O’Sul­li­van & Norma Mo­ri­arty

Norma Mo­ri­arty, Chair­per­son County Youth Work Com­mit­tee and Michael O Sul­li­van Health & Well­be­ing Of­fi­cer, South Kerry GAA Board.

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