Cork GAA guide the running online coaching sessions during lockdown

The Association has a number of guidelines in place to safeguard children training remotely
Cork GAA guide the running online coaching sessions during lockdown

Cork GDA Colm Crowley, who has been running webinars for coaches and has issued advice for coaches running online training sessions. 

WITH pitches closed throughout the county and no clear indication as to when training/games will return, clubs have been coming up with alternative training methods.

A lot of clubs have moved online to try and keep players of all ages engaged in these tough days.

Cork GDAs have been coming up with ways to keep younger players engaged and recently made a series of videos to help them train at home. The first two in a five-week series of exercises to do at home are currently on The Echo website and will continue every Saturday for the next few weeks.

Clubs are also taking to online training and this is an area that needs careful monitoring, especially for underage sides.

GDA Colm Crowley has been looking at this in detail and said: “Live online coaching sessions for children are particularly welcomed and will assist them to maintain their links with the club and participate in much valued physical activity.

We should always be cognisant of the fact that some children, for a variety of reasons, may not be able to participate in these online activities or may find them unsuitable to their needs.

“With the correct guidance and good practices in place, we wish to support all such initiatives, so that coaches and units may deliver live online coaching sessions in a safe and enjoyable environment, through the use of secure online communications.

“This online coaching guidance for children and young people under 18. has been developed following consultation with statutory authorities, the GAA games and coaching personnel, volunteer coaches, and parents.

“In addition to the online coaching sessions, we encourage the use of pre-recorded online resources.”

They are accessible at https://learning.gaa.ie/coachingresources.

As part of this, they have issued good practice and safety requirements for clubs that have decided to hold online sessions.

KEY ADVICE FOR ONLINE SESSIONS

Online coaching sessions should be conducted via the Microsoft Teams platform which is our preferred platform option for such purposes — other equivalent tools do exist but are not covered by GAA/LGFA/Camogie governance mechanisms.

Signed consent from a parent is required prior to the child participating in any club or county online coaching sessions. It is not permitted to take screenshots of individual children or groups of children who are participating in live online coaching sessions.

Coaches who deliver a coaching session as part of an in-school activity may be required by the school to use the school’s preferred platform. In some instances, this may not be the preferred Microsoft Teams app, but as this is a school-based or school-approved activity this will be permissible.

Approved Association skills challenges/competitions/charity events should be facilitated in line with the Skills Challenges Protocol, available

https://www.gaa.ie/api/pdfs/image/upload/gujvmtqymbj1a6pzovws.pdf

An online coaching session must be created by the use of an official @gaa, @lgfa, or @camogie account as this will enable more control and provide greater security when delivering a session eg use an existing person’s or officers @gaa, @lgfa or @ camogie account.

Each event must have an individual and newly created invitation. The coaches should have their camera and microphone on at all times, except during breaks or in exceptional circumstances.

Children should join the session with their microphone mute and their camera off and should only turn these on at the request or under the direction of the coach in charge.

At a minimum, two coaches (or one coach and one nominated responsible adult) are required to deliver a coaching session in accordance with agreed supervisory ratios.

One person delivering the online coaching must be nominated as the lead coach.

It is the lead coach who must act as the point of contact for each coaching session and shall also be the responsible person should it be necessary to make administrative or disciplinary decisions in relation to the delivery of the coaching.

If the young people participating include both males and females the coaches/nominated responsible adults must also include a male/female presence.

The responsible adult, if not a qualified coach, shall be deemed a supervisor of children. and must be satisfactorily vetted and must have attended relevant Child Safeguarding Training recognised by the GAA associations.

Coaches must keep a record of each participant at online coaching sessions.

While a camera ‘off and mute’ rule applies to children participating in the session it is recommended that the coach would occasionally request the children, as a group, to turn on their cameras for a short period of time, as this will enable the coach to be aware who is in attendance. 

Any such instruction will be under the guidance of the lead coach in charge.

Children participating in online coaching sessions must be in membership of the club or unit.

Misbehaviour or conduct of an inappropriate nature may result in the offending person being removed from the session by the lead coach.

The child’s parent must complete a consent form on behalf of their child and submit the same to their club so as to enable their child to participate in an online coaching session.

Please note that the provisions of the GAA player injury fund and the LGFA Injury Fund do not extend to cover participants in online coaching. Camogie clubs are advised to liaise with their broker on any specific cover that applies to them.

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