Our fu­ture is our youth

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - FRONT PAGE -


PORT­MAGEE man Michael Keat­ing is in his fifth year as Chair­man of the South Kerry Board and he re­mains op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture due to the many pos­i­tive sup­port struc­tures cur­rently in place.

South Kerry is one of the old­est di­vi­sional boards in the county and its suc­cess is down to the com­mu­nity that com­bine its ef­forts for the greater good of South Kerry foot­ball and its youth.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the re­gion has al­ways pro­duced some of the most stylish and skil­ful play­ers to rep­re­sent Kerry, and there is ev­ery rea­son to sug­gest this will re­main the case given the great work cur­rently un­der­way with Coláiste na Sceilge and the Sports Academy, both com­mit­ted to en­hanc­ing the phys­i­cal fit­ness and men­tal well­be­ing of the re­gion’s youth.

“There is now a more holis­tic ap­proach to im­prov­ing phys­i­cal and men­tal well­ness in South Kerry. Kids are un­der a lot of pres­sure these days which is why sport helps them more than ever, both in terms of fit­ness and so­cial in­clu­sion. Our fu­ture is our youth,” Michael said.

Tra­di­tion is im­por­tant in South Kerry but Michael knows tra­di­tion alone is not enough to sus­tain the fi­nan­cial needs of clubs and schools in the area. This is where lo­cal spon­sor­ship plays a vi­tal role and Michael is keen to praise the con­tri­bu­tion of lo­cal busi­nesses in the story of South Kerry’s suc­cess. For ex­am­ple, Walsh’s Su­perValu spon­sor the South Kerry se­nior team and South Kerry Cham­pi­onship; Ca­her­siveen Credit Union spon­sor the U21 di­vi­sional teams and South Kerry leagues; Quin­lan’s Fish Shop spon­sor the Sports Academy, while Quirke’s Builders Providers and many other lo­cal busi­nesses also help the cause.

“The im­por­tance of this spon­sor­ship can’t be over­stated enough as they are an in­te­gral part of South Kerry’s suc­cess. They’re not just ma­jor em­ploy­ers, but also huge sup­port­ers of South Kerry foot­ball. The GAA could do a lot more fi­nan­cially to help smaller clubs. I know it’s not an ex­act cal­cu­la­tion, but I would hazard a guess that the pro­ceeds from one con­cert held in Croke Park would go a long way in a club in South Kerry,” he added.

Michael also thanked the hard­work­ing club of­fi­cers and of­fi­cials as ‘ev­ery­one pulls in the same di­rec­tion for South Kerry’. Michael’s long-term wish is to keep the youth ac­tive, play­ing sport, and to see the clubs thrive.

“This is very im­por­tant and we’re ex­tremely pos­i­tive about the fu­ture. So long as South Kerry stays true to its tra­di­tion of pro­duc­ing qual­ity play­ers and take pride in the clubs that pro­duce them, we’ll al­ways be suc­cess­ful. We have a strong say­ing here in South Kerry: ‘your wealth is your health, and your fu­ture is your youth’”.

Lastly, Michael added that a ma­jor fundraiser to help the youth of the clubs is in the pipe­line for later this year, so watch this space.

Michael Keat­ing Chair­per­son South Kerry GAA Board.

South Kerry GAA Board; Front L/R Johnny Grif­fin, Peter Mur­phy, Suzanne Ní Laoighre, Dan Fitz­patrick, Barry Clif­ford. Back L/R Mossie O Sul­li­van, Micheal O Sul­li­van, Michael Keat­ing, Pat Everett and Pa­trick Bren­nan. Photo by Stephen Kel­leghan.

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