GAA family pitch in for coaching project to help shape the future of the game

GAA family pitch in for coaching project to help shape the future of the game
David Dowling shapes the hurl with a spokeshave at The Star Hurley in Jenkinstown, Kilkenny. The GAA will return in the coming weeks. Picture: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

ALL Gaelic football, hurling, and camogie coaches throughout the city and county are being asked to help the GAA to deliver improved coaching education and development throughout its clubs.

It has been a time for reflection and focusing on development during this pandemic. It’s good to take a step back and take stock and if there is anything that Covid-19 has given us, it’s the time to do this, in all aspects of life, not just sport.

With all of us forced to slow down, other areas have taken our focus. In what the GAA says is the biggest coaching survey conducted in Irish sport, the organisation has joined forces with the Camogie Association and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association to “help shape the future development of Gaelic games”.

The survey will be undertaken over the next three weeks and the GAA says coaches at every level are being urged to make their voices heard via the online survey.

GAA coach education officer Dr Peter Horgan says coaches play an important role in Gaelic games, providing support and guidance for their teams and players and none more so than in the current suspension of activities.

“We are interested in feedback from coaches on their coaching experience, their coaching practice, and how coaches see coaching into the future. We are also very interested in coaches’ experience of coach education, and what coaches feel are their own learning needs.”

Those people who have dropped out of coaching are also part of this survey to help the GAA understand why they are no longer coaching and whether there is anything that can put in place to encourage them back into coaching.

The GAA is targeting more than 10,000 responses, “making it one of the most comprehensive coaching studies ever undertaken.”

The survey will take place online, and the GAA says it is completely anonymous, and confidential.

President of the Camogie Association, Kathleen Woods, says this important research will give the GAA a great insight into the world of its coaches throughout the Gaelic games family.

Kathleen Woods.
Kathleen Woods.

“Coaching is a vocation to many volunteers and they provide expertise, support, enthusiasm, and guidance to players within our games at all ages and levels of the game, to enable players to enjoy our games as much as possible and to reach their full potential.

LGFA President Marie Hickey says it is “imperative coaches are equipped with the tools which will allow them to develop our sport.

“Coaching is a multi-faceted discipline, with key skills and qualities required to fulfill the role.

“In that regard, research that explores best practice and education should be welcomed and embraced.

“I would encourage as many of our coaches as possible to engage with the survey, and your feedback will prove invaluable. I look forward to the results that emerge from what is sure to be a substantial body of work.”

The GAA says that over the last year the GAA, the Camogie Association. and the LGFA have been developing a new introduction to coaching Gaelic games award that will operate across all of the codes.

To continue that development, it is important it builds its programmes on solid information on the role and experiences of coaches within our games.

This survey is for coaches of all levels involved in the Gaelic games associations of camogie, hurling, handball, Gaelic football, ladies football, and rounders.

The survey is available online through Gaa.ie, Camogie.ie, and LGFA.ie as well as the GAA Learning site — learning.gaa.ie, or email gamesdevelopment@gaa.ie

It's 25 years since Cork beat Kilkenny in the 1995 final and that team are due to be honoured on All-Ireland final day. We’ll have a reunion all the same. We could be wearing the woolly hats in November or December on All-Ireland day. It certainly is a strange one.

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