Gathering the GAA Youth

This Saturday, 28th October, more than 500 young players will travel from the four corners of Ireland to Croke Park in order to participate in the 2017 #GAAyouth Forum.  The gathering is supported for the first time this year by Sky Sports.

The young male and female players, aged 12 – 21, were selected on foot of an online process, which had almost 1,000 applicants

This #GAAyouth Forum is one of the three GAA grassroots initiatives that the broadcaster will support over the next 5 years, the others being the Super Games idea and the Annual Games Development Conference in January.

Read More: Sky €3M Investment in GAA Youth

“I am delighted that the #GAAyouth Forum is now the largest annual off-field event for young players in Ireland,” said GAA President Aogán Ó Fearghaill who will officially open the event.

“The GAA is the only sporting organisation in the world to hold a Forum of this size for young players. I believe that this reflects the deep commitment by the Association to support and assist its young members to achieve their full potential both as players and people.”

“I hope that this Forum goes some way to showing how much young players are valued and respected by the GAA.”

The purpose of the #GAAyouth Forum is to educate and empower young people around Player Welfare issues that are important to them. The Forum promises to be fun and informative with a mix of interactive exhibitions, workshops, high profile speakers and a Q&A session.

Young players will start the day by participating in the interactive demos at the Exhibition Village where they will learn about everything from preparing healthy smoothies to Hurley care and repair.

In addition to taking photos with the Liam MacCarthy and Sam Maguire, they will also get the opportunity to meet and greet some stars of our games including Sky Sports mentors – Brendan Maher, Cora Staunton, and Paul Geaney.

Fellow mentor Con O’Callaghan who helped launch the partnership a few weeks ago would have hoped to be there but will instead be playing for his club Cuala in the Dublin Senior Hurling Championship final up the road at Parnell Park.

The delegates will have the opportunity to attend a number of different workshops throughout the day where speakers including Sharon Courtney, Cathal Cregg, Andy Moran, Podge Collins, Orlagh Farmer, David Herity, Mick Bohan, Ciarán Kilkenny and Juliet Murphy will address a range of issues from Food as Fuel, Understanding your Fitness to Becoming a Coach as well as Injury Prevention & Recovery.

The Forum will conclude with a Q&A Panel with the Sky Sports mentors hosted by Damian Lawlor.

The panel will discuss a range of different issues of interest to young players including managing a good balance between study, work and GAA; the highs and lows of a sporting career and how the Sky Sports mentors prepare themselves on the day of a game.

There will also be an element of how to communicate effectively with adult coaches, an issue which has never been more important after the events of this week and the conviction of former GAA coach Tom Humphries for a horrendous breach of the trust that exists between coaches and players.

It will need to be handled carefully but we have no doubt that it will.

Read More: A Line is Crossed, Reflecting on the Coaching of Children

The #GAAyouth Forum in partnership with Sky Sports is organised by the National Youth Committee in partnership with An Cumann Camógaíochta, the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA), GAA Handball and Sky Sports.

The GAA is among the more than 230 organisations that are part of the Sport for Business community

Sport for Business will host over 20 events with our members in 2018 providing exclusive insight on the relationships that work best for sport and business.

What could we do together for your organisation?

Image Credit: Dan Sheridan Inpho

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