Sky Sports and the GAA brought together Sam Maguire and Liam McCarthy yesterday as part of the celebration of the GAA Super Games Centres National Blitz Day at Abbottstown.
Dublin’s Jonny Cooper and Limerick Captain Declan Hannon were an even bigger draw for the more than 200 children from around the country that were taking part, meeting the kids and getting plenty of selfies.
This is the second year of a five year grassroots partnership which sees Sky Sports extend its support beyond the screen and invest €3 million directly into GAA grassroots.
The GAA Super Games Centres are an initiative which encourages more young people aged 12-17 years to participate and stay involved in Gaelic Games. They will provide support to each Centre in the form of kits and equipment. The centres are not physically built but are based at existing facilities around the country.
Regional visits with Sky Sports mentors will also be arranged throughout the year, with the aim to attract 2,000 new participants annually to the GAA Super Games Centres initiative with a primary objective to cater for 10,000 GAA Super Games Centre participants over a five-year period.
Sky Sports will also continue to support the GAA through its involvement with the annual GAA Youth Forum in Croke Park on Saturday 27th October when 600 young players from 12 to 21 will come together to have their say on the development of Gaelic Games.
The third element Sky’s partnership with the GAA covers support for the Annual Coaching Conference taking place on Saturday, January 12th 2019.
“Our partnership with the GAA has gone from strength to strength and this past year we’ve rolled out training events in a number of counties including Galway, Cork, Monaghan, Mayo and Kilkenny,” said Sky Ireland Managing Director JD Buckley.
“Our ultimate goal with the GAA Super Games Centres is to help the GAA increase the number of centres countrywide and reach over 10,000 children annually.”
“We have enjoyed another wonderful season this year which saw 14 exclusive games air on Sky Sports and we look forward to working with the GAA across the Championship and at a grassroots level for many years to come.”
“The GAA Super Games Centres are an innovative way of helping the GAA tackle the world phenomenon that is the fall-off of teenagers when it comes to participation in sport,” added GAA President John Horan.
Image Credit Piaras Ó Mídheach, Sportsfile