OUR FUTURE IS OUR YOUTH
Our future is our youth
12-PAGE SPECIAL SUPPLEMENT ON SOUTH KERRY GAA
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.
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.