A NEW state-of-the-art health and fitness facility will open in January at Bishopstown GAA club as part of an ambitious partnership with Setanta College.
The initiative will also include the creation and delivery of an athletic development pathway for the Cork club, which will be overseen and implemented by coaches from Setanta Performance, the athletic development consultancy division of Setanta College.
In recent years, the Town developed a floodlit astroturf pitch, which this month hosted Rebel Óg finals in both codes. They had a promising year underage, despite finding themselves in a Senior A Football relegation final, winning the P1 Football Féile at U15 and P2 counties at U16 and minor.
Town club stalwart Ian Jones has been appointed in the key role as Head of Athletic Development at the club on behalf of Setanta.
Jones, centre-back on the team that reached the 2012 county hurling final where they lost narrowly to Sars, was a brilliant dual player and is now highly regarded in his field. He had a highly successful career in the US where he worked with two NFL teams and Division 1 Colleges, including Penn State and also has experience with Cork teams.
Des Ryan, Director of Coaching and Performance at Setanta College and previously Head of Sports Science and Medicine at Arsenal Academy, will oversee the coaching team and programme.
With membership rising sharply over the last five years, Bishopstown GAA aims to maximise the potential within the club through the development of players, coaches and facilities. The new Setanta Wellness facility, which will be similar to existing Setanta facilities in Thurles and Galway, will be located on the grounds of Bishopstown GAA club and will also be open to the public for bespoke fitness and wellness training.
Fielding over 50 teams in football, hurling, camogie and ladies football and over 300 young players in the nursery section, the new partnership with Setanta will bring a streamlined approach to athletic development in Bishopstown GAA. A team of coaches from Setanta will work across all teams, both at juvenile and senior levels.
Brian Cuthbert, Bishopstown GAA Chairman, said, “Like all clubs, we are continuously looking for ‘a best-in-class' approach to developing both our players and our volunteer coaches.
"Our partnership with Setanta will afford us many new opportunities in terms of coach education, facility provision, player development, as well as wellness opportunities for our membership. We are very excited about our nuanced partnership and in particular, we are thrilled to be chosen as the home of Setanta in Cork.”
Des Ryan added: "There is great work happening within Bishopstown GAA club with hugely exciting plans for the future.
"Along with athletic and performance development, education will be a key focus of the programme, and we look forward to engaging with players and coaches at all levels, as well as the parents of youth players, throughout the entire process."
Setanta College is an internationally renowned provider of higher education in human performance, sports science, and performance psychology. Headquartered in Ireland, Setanta College also operates campus locations in the UK, USA, South Africa, Italy, and India, led by a team of highly experienced academics and practitioners who count some of the world’s most prestigious sports organisations as clients.
Recently, the college has expanded its offerings to include the development of performance structures through its consultancy practice Setanta Performance and in the community through Setanta Wellness, bringing a science-based approach to health and fitness to the general public.
To find out more about Setanta College, visit https://www.setantacollege.com/target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">. To learn more about the Bishopstown GAA Club Development Plan, visit https://bishopstowngaa.com/.