Cork County Board and GAA clubs turn to technology to stay connected in difficult period

Cork County Board and GAA clubs turn to technology to stay connected in difficult period
Ballygarvan club man Terry Brady serves as an IT officer with the Rebel Óg executive. He is also a member of the National IT Committee.

BALLYGARVAN club man Terry Brady enjoys being an administrator with the Cork County Board.

The IT specialist has played a big part in modernising their IT approach.

“This is my fifth year serving as IT officer of Cork County Board. The role is very enjoyable and rewarding. The digital transformation of the Cork County Board is well under way and it has the full support of the executive.”

Ensuring all their applications are now operating via the cloud has proved very beneficial during the outbreak of Covid-19.

“With the office move back into Páirc Uí Chaoimh, all applications are now cloud-based. This meant that the operation of the county board office could continue during Covid-19. Many plans are well under way to automate as much of the workloads as possible.

“A new, mobile-friendly website was launched in December 2019 and a discipline application was rolled-out.”

Brady has a number of remits as IT officer. “The main responsibilities are to act as point of contact for all IT matters, and encourage the roll-out and development of official GAA IT solutions.

“I have to ensure that appropriate policies, procedures, and standards, including data protection, are adhered to, and applied, at county and club levels. I also liaise with the county board to implement required solutions and processes.

“I also co-ordinate the utilisation of GAA IT services, facilitating the provision of adequate training to club and county officers. I am also the chairperson of the IT subcommittee of the county board,” he said.

Brady has also held administrative roles with his beloved Ballygarvan GAA Club.

“I am a very proud member of Ballygarvan GAA Club. I currently chair the games committee. I have held many roles in the club in the past, including secretary, PRO, and underage chairperson.

“We are a dual club, with camogie and ladies’ football. Our facilities are in constant use. There is some great work being done in the club. The club has an excellent relationship with the local national school.

“Our underage club is going from strength to strength. They are competing in some Premier grades. The U16 P2 football success last year was an outstanding achievement.

“Ballygarvan are a great club with great people involved. They are an integral part of our community,” he said.

Terry Brady at a Ballygarvan Cúl Camp, alongside Shane Kingston. He has held a series of administrative roles with the club.
Terry Brady at a Ballygarvan Cúl Camp, alongside Shane Kingston. He has held a series of administrative roles with the club.

Brady serves alongside some very diligent administrators within the Rebel Óg committee.

“There is great work being done in Rebel Óg, under the chairmanship of Michael Mahony and full-time secretary, Shane Supple.

“The volume of games played in Rebel Óg each year is massive.

“The administration behind this presents a huge workload for officers to deal with. There is great work being done by development squads and Rebel Óg coaching to raise standards. The future is looking good for Cork GAA,” Brady said.

Technology has been vital to the GAA in coping with the Covid-19 outbreak. Coaches can track their players and devise individual training programmes.

Zoom, the multi-camera conference-call app, has been utilised for meetings and underage players have been practising their skills at home.

“Clubs and boards have embraced technology to keep collaboration going during this difficult period. The GAA online learning platform has really taken off and will continue to grow.

“The adoption of Microsoft Teams, by clubs and boards, has been great. Social media plays an important role in the organisation and promotion of our games.

“It provides an engaging forum through which the GAA community can connect. It has played a very important role during this crisis.”

Data analysis is also featuring more prominently within county teams and club teams. The GAA will continue to utilise IT in the coming years.

“Data analytics is a key component of our games today. The harvesting of data has become more user-friendly with the visualisation of data. 

“For example, the GAA used data analytics in certain counties to predict the number of players that will be available to their clubs in five years’ time.

“This new games management system will be rolled out for the 2021 season,” he said.

“It will digitise team sheets and integrate many sources of information into the one platform. It will include a communications element to communicate with teams, members, and committees in a compliant way.

“I can see data analytics playing a bigger role in the GAA going forward. It will empower people with the correct information to make good decisions,” Mr Brady said.

He is also a member of the GAA’s national IT committee. He was delighted to share his expertise on a national level. “I was honoured to get the call from GAA president, John Horan. It is great to see how effective the GAA operate at national level.

“We deal with various issues. The main remit of this committee is the implementation of the GAA IT strategy, to advocate best practice for usage of IT systems within GAA units and to encourage innovation. This is a very proactive committee, with great people on it."

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