The Value of Coaching in GAA

Munster GAA has produced a detailed report on the value of its coaching investment.  It concludes that there has been a return of €30 million in value for the €1.7 million put into juvenile coaching in 2019.

That is based on a return of €16.80 for every €1, an increase from €15 in 2015 and €12 in 2011.

The findings are part of a detailed 69-page report looking at the value which stakeholders including parents and teenagers put on engagement with Gaelic games.

The overall average value which underage players placed on one hours coaching or playing of games was €4.77 as opposed to €6.88 which they were willing to pay for the same time in a non-sporting environment.

Parents place a higher value on sport and exercise with €8.03 seen as a value point for sport and physical exercise, as opposed to €7.97 on a non sporting activity.

Scale of Operation

The scale of operation of the GAA is evidenced by the fact that 914 primary schools brought 84,359 students into Go Games coaching activity across the year while 142 post primary schools engaged with Games Development Officers.

The most valued outcomes of a child’s participation in GAA Activity were put down as General Wellbeing, Personal Development and Health Benefits while 91 per cent rate Mental Health as the most important benefit of GAA participation.

The Weekly Coaching value lost with no GAA activity due to COVID-19 was valued at €610,000 across the 422 Underage clubs in the Province, who would have catered for 58,538 underage players in normal circumstances.

The report provides a wealth of data with 60 per cent of clubs catering for up to 150 underage players and seven per cent providing activity for more than 300 children and teenagers.

One worrying trend is the fall in numbers of players aged from U12 to U18.  In 2015 there were 37,225 registered players across those ages but this had dropped to 34,062 last year, a decline of 8.5 per cent.

This may have been down to the numbers starting out during the economic recession and there has been a stabilisation at U8 and U10 with 24,476 players now registered as opposed to 23,563 four years ago, a rise of 3.9 per cent.

“This report reiterates the good work being done by GAA Coaches in Munster over a number of years,” said Munster GAA Chairman Liam Lenihan.


“Coaching is about developing the person as well as the player and for every euro invested in Juvenile Coaching, there is a return of €16.80, an increase of over 10 per cent from a study conducted in 2015.”


“Having such rich data at our disposal will help our Coaching & Games team to continue focusing their efforts in the right places to further enhance the social capital of all those children that we facilitate through GAA Coaching in the province.”

The survey is based on the model of Social return on Investment, a measurement framework increasingly used in sports to understand, measure and report the social and economic value created by an intervention, programme, policy or organisation’s activity.

The SROI approach is widely employed to determine the impact of investment into sports provision and the return generated by the governing body.

This is principally based on the value the end user places on the key outputs of the coaching investment in this case the value placed by players and / or parents on one hour of GAA coaching. This is assessed versus the subsequent value received over the course of a GAA season, based on the outputs of their club and the price paid in terms of annual membership.

This SROI assessment model has its foundations in traditional economic evaluation and is recognised for providing a holistic measurement framework through its inclusion of both social and sport impacts from the perspective of stakeholders, namely clubs, parents and players. The approach generates a valuation reflecting the wider impacts that arise from the coaching interventions. These include outcomes such as physical wellbeing, mental wellbeing, individual development, social and interpersonal development in addition to a player’s sports development.

The survey was conducted by Repucon Consulting for Munster GAA.

Download the Full Report Here

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