Sean Mc Goldrick. Sowing the Seeds for the Future. Overview. My Story – Key Lessons Eoghan Roe My Eoghan Roe Story Problems/Issues Summary Questions - Discussion. My upbringing and Gaelic Games. Early influences – childhood. Gaelic and hurling in my primary and secondary schools.
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Sowing the Seeds for the Future
My Story – Key Lessons
My Eoghan Roe Story
Questions - Discussion
Early influences – childhood.
Gaelic and hurling in my primary and secondary schools.
Success of CBS schools led to the foundation of St Teresa’s GAC in 1963.
Success with St Teresa’s through underage up to senior level into the early 80s.
Classic combination of Gaelic games in schools and access to games including county games in Casement Park.
Weakness in St Teresa’s setup – underage neglected and lesson learned in hindsight.
Having moved to work in NUU in 1973 I continued playing with St Teres’a until transferring to Eoghan Roe circa 1985.
‘Need for continuous underage coaching’
Transferred to Eoghan Roe in 1985.
At that time the club was struggling to field a senior football team.
Committee was very small and interest in club and games was almost non-existent.
No culture for GAA existed in the area at the time.
Remoteness from main GAA areas.
Little exposure to Gaelic games in times past.
Location is less of a problem today.
Transferred in 1985
An eye-opener – very different environment
No club facilities – Played and coached senior team until I was in my mid forties.
With few underage players coming through no pressure to retire.
Little or no underage coaching.
Attempts to field an U14 football team with youngsters who had a very limited knowledge of Gaelic football.
Subsequently, lesson two followed.
‘Impossible to impart the skills of a game to children who are in their teens.’
‘In order to have children playing and choosing Gaelic Games they needed to be introduced to them and coached from a very young age.’
‘Young people key’
Very different culture to my primary school.
Little or no Gaelic games in the primary schools.
Building blocks for a GAA club were non-existent. A vibrant club where children can see the games being played and primary schools coaching the skills.
Soccer was very dominant….My personal horror story – Barry
‘Cannot rely on schools, therefore club has to start coaching the children themselves from a young age.’
Foundations of Eoghan Roe Gaelic Football Structures – circa 1990.
A small group of 4 in the club involved.
Meeting with Terence Mc Williams, advice received and decision to proceed was taken…
Established our own coaching programme for primary school children…primary objective was:
‘To produce a steady stream of players, to ensure the survival of Eoghan Roe club over the long term.’
We would go ahead and organise three sessions for primary school children in the Triangle area on a Saturday morning in the Dominican College in Portstewart, concentrating on the P3 to P7 children.
We all accepted that running this programme for a couple of years wouldn’t be enough. The programme would have to run for 15 to 20 years in order to see a positive result.
GAA was launching Foundation Courses – new ideas and confidence.
After this it was a matter of getting on with the practical aspects, booking the hall, buying the equipment, getting the word out to the parents.
We hoped that a spin off of our coaching programme would be a growth in interest in GAA amongst parents and other adults.
When the children passed from primary to secondary school it was obvious that we would have to look about organising sessions for secondary school children….more coaches required.
We run sessions all year round now. We feel the need to do this in order to:
Continually bond the children with the club
Continually develop the children’s skills…even in winter time.
By providing activities for the children we hoped also to bond the parents to the club. This had a two-fold effect. We did manage to recruit more parents into coaching and we also increased the number of club members and therefore the number of people who were prepared to volunteer to sit on the club committee.
1) Bring underage players through to Senior teams.
2) Coaching goes on all year round.
3) Coaches kept informed of all up-coming coaching courses and workshops.
4) All coaches have to complete the Foundation Course and Child Safeguarding course.
5) Coaches PEC checked.
6) Coaches stay at one age group.
7) Attempt to ensure players always play in their own age group.
8) Players playing up an age group, are only expected to train with their own age group.
9) No prescribed way of playing.
Aim still the same as it was with our first meeting with Terrence...’to develop underage players and bring them through to senior’.
Change in environment. The club now commands much more respect in the local community and this is reflected in that primary schools are much more proactive in supporting Gaelic games.
Vast majority of our teams play in the “B” leagues – simply because that’s the level at which our underage teams can compete.
Over the years we have added Hurling, Camogie and recently Gaelic for girls.
Although these extra games put a strain on the need to find new coaches, we decided in the 90s that we would strive to provide games for the whole family, male and female, young and old.
Hurling has enjoyed success, however it is a challenge to run a successful dual club.
The higher profile of Gaelic football in Derry and in our club puts pressure on the hurling. Camogie in the club is thriving.
Continual struggle to keep numbers up – under 16 hurlers this year.
Irish language and dancing lessons in the club house every week.
Ceasefires in 90’s…living in changed times.
More acceptance of Gaelic Games in our area.
The Gaelic club in the Coleraine council area has a higher profile generally and commands a lot of respect from other sports clubs and from the council itself.
Attracting Children to Eoghan Rua. Need to continue the work of building a GAA culture in our area.
Competition from other sports – on-going. Do they come back?
Changing lifestyle of children.
Attracting new coaches.
Parents as coaches – advantages and disadvantages.
Have a long term goal and be prepared for a long term commitment.
Shared Vision - gather together the people who you know share your hopes and start from there, no matter how small your group is.
Put coaching structures in place from Fundamentals to adult (LTPD). This may be a gradual process which takes years as you increase the number of coaches working in your club.
Outsiders won’t do it, must be built by you!
Develop School Links/Don’t rely on Schools or county coaches (DIY)
Think about providing activities for the whole family - developing the bond is essential and always look for ways to increase the GAA community!
Be open to new adult members and utilise the abilities and talents of everyone willing to make a contribution.
Encourage club members to attend courses.
Club Maith accreditation.
Learn from others.
Encourage next generation and be prepared to let go.