‘It’s a chal­lenge, but it is well worth pur­su­ing’

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

WHEN PJ Reidy be­gan his role as Games De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tor (GDA) for South Kerry schools and clubs in 2016, he or­gan­ised a meet­ing with Michael Keating, Chair­man and the South Kerry Board Com­mit­tee and coach­ing of­fi­cers. They dis­cov­ered one of the main chal­lenges was im­mi­gra­tion, lack of num­bers, play­ers not play­ing com­pet­i­tive foot­ball in their own age group, etc.

PJ pro­posed and in­tro­duced sev­eral ideas and chief among them was the es­tab­lish­ment of a South Kerry un­der­age academy struc­ture for un­der 14s right up to mi­nor age groups. PJ out­lined strate­gies in some of the fol­low­ing ar­eas: to have a good knowl­edge of all play­ers in south Kerry at their spe­cific age; fo­cus on technical skill de­vel­op­ment, phys­i­cal fit­ness, con­di­tioned games, phys­i­cal strength and con­di­tion­ing, pos­i­tive men­tal health, bet­ter de­ci­sion mak­ing, and over­all pos­i­tive life­style habits. These are just some of pos­i­tives in­tro­duced by PJ for the over­all de­vel­op­ment of the game and the young in­di­vid­u­als who play it.

Coláiste na Sceilge is the fo­cal point for much of PJ’s work, as are many Na­tional Schools in the re­gion which en­sure he is able to in­ter­act daily with pupils. He said that while there are ob­vi­ous chal­lenges to the job, these are far out­weighed by the many pos­i­tive as­pects that come with en­gag­ing proac­tively with the youth of south Kerry and to watch them pros­per in var­i­ous forms of phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

“The gen­eral health and well­be­ing of our youth is ma­jorly im­por­tant and we try to en­sure that chil­dren keep as ac­tive as pos­si­ble through the week and not just for the time we spend with them. Agility, bal­ance and co­or­di­na­tion are im­por­tant to kids, es­pe­cially at a time when many of the at­trac­tions en­cour­age more seden­tary life­styles,” PJ said.

He also stressed that the struc­ture of the GAA in the schools in south Kerry is very strong at present due to the col­lec­tive ef­fort of peo­ple like Damien Fo­ley, Mau­rice Fitzger­ald, John Dor­gan, John O’Con­nor, Buddy O’Shea, James Mike O’Sul­li­van, Gil­lian Fitzger­ald, Michael Curran, Pat Sheehy, Michael O’Sul­li­van, Kieran McCarthy, Ju­nior Mur­phy and spon­sors Quinan’s Fish Shop and Seafood Bars.

“We’re de­lighted with the re­sults and how the chil­dren have re­sponded so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. Sport and phys­i­cal fit­ness is very im­por­tant in the de­vel­op­ment of youth and while it’s a chal­lenge, it’s one worth pur­su­ing.

South Kerry and Coláiste na Sceilge Un­der 16 Panel 2018.

PJ Reidy Games De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tor,Kerry County Board de­liv­er­ing a coach­ing ses­sion to South Kerry Un­der­age Academies.

Michael Keating Chair­man of South Kerry Board and PJ Reidy, Games De­vel­op­ment Ad­min­is­tra­tor, Kerry County Board.

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