They are among the finest days at Croke Park and each year the Finals of the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol tournament are a vivid reminder of just why children both like to and need to play sport.
Allianz have been backing them for 26 years now in one of the longest commercial partnerships in Irish sport.
The relationship featured in this year’s Sport for Business Sport for Social Good Report where Allianz Head of Marketing and Communications Damien O’Neill wrote of their magic in words that are worth repeating.
“Education is fundamental to both personal and economic development and so we owe our educators a deep debt of gratitude,” he said.
“For many, there is the ability to recount and to recognise the lasting and positive effect a particular teacher has had on their personal development.”
“In a wider economic context, it is safe to state that Ireland has benefited greatly from its investment in education over many years. And for over a century, Allianz has been privileged to work within Ireland’s education sector as a leading provider of insurance on a 32 county basis.”
“Throughout our long history of engaging with schools, we have always been inspired by the outstanding commitment shown by teachers, who give of themselves outside normal school hours to help their pupils both academically and socially through sport.”
“This is where professionalism is enhanced to vocation and children receive a more rounded education – learning additional skills that will serve them throughout their lives.”
“One such example is that of Cumann na mBunscol – the primary school teachers network, who for decades have quietly busied themselves each year with teaching hundreds of thousands of primary going school children the joys, skills and social aspects of Gaelic games.”
“The benefits of early intervention when young minds are still formative cannot be overstated. Apart from the obvious physical benefits that activity brings, youngsters learn the life skills of team interaction, tactics, strategy, respect for others and the joy of movement – all at a time early enough to influence their choices in life and impact positively on their future decision-making process.”
“Simply put, giving a child a ball and the skills to use it effectively, opens them up to a world of enjoyable opportunities.”
“A ball, no matter what shape or size, is at the heart of many sports. And that is exactly where Cumann na mBunscol is – promoting and teaching sport in primary schools right across the thirty-two counties.”
“That’s why Allianz has supported the work of those teachers for over 26 years as they develop and nurture our children through sport. Teaching children physical skills, teamwork, social interaction and many other life lessons, which will remain with them throughout their lives – whatever they do, or wherever they go.”
“When we say ‘Give a child a ball and you give them the world’ we really mean it.”
“This is the primary reason why Allianz has proudly supported Cumann na mBunscol for the last 26 years.”
“In order to further support them and the good work that they do we have created an affordable ball initiative for the primary schools of Ireland with ball supplier Daricia, which we are proud to announce as part of the Sport for Business Sport for Social Good event and which will available to all schools commencing September 2019.”
The days of being among hundreds of parents from your school, and your community, at the Cumman na mBunscol Finals are among the best you can have in sport.
The joy we see so clearly on the faces of the boys and girls being their heroes, alongside their friends, is something that can never be forgotten, and the power of which can never be underestimated.
Image Credit: Piaras O Midheach, Sportsfile