Kinsale GAA thriving on all fronts with underage numbers booming

"Over the last number of years, we have had a coach going into all the five primary schools in the locality for several hours a week doing coaching sessions in both hurling and football."
Kinsale GAA thriving on all fronts with underage numbers booming

The Kinsale junior hurlers won the South East junior A hurling championship title in 2020.

KINSALE GAA Club held a very successful awards night recently at Actons Hotel as a plethora of teams and individual players were presented with medals and awards.

Medals and awards were presented on the night to a series of teams and players for their exploits over the past two years. Kinsale club chairperson Glynn Aherne said the awards night was a great success. 

“The awards night went very well. The medals were for the 2020 and 2021 seasons. It was great to meet up with people after two years of lockdowns. It was great to celebrate the achievements various teams and players enjoyed in recent years. It was good to see all the players,” he said.

The junior hurlers received their 2020 South East championship medals and the junior B footballers received their 2021 South East medals. The minor players in both football and hurling also received their medals with some players accepting up to six medals following lots of success in both codes since the U15 grade.

Individual awards were also presented on the night in recognition of brilliant displays over recent times. Grace Cronin was presented with the junior camogie player of the year, Jenny Murphy won the senior ladies footballer of the year, while Catriona McCarthy won the junior ladies footballer of the year.

Jenny Murphy, senior footballer of the year, and Catriona McCarthy, junior footballer of the year, at the Kinsale GAA awards.
Jenny Murphy, senior footballer of the year, and Catriona McCarthy, junior footballer of the year, at the Kinsale GAA awards.

John O’Brien was named the hurler of the year and the intermediate player of the year went to Rian O’Regan. The junior footballer of the year was won by Michael O’Sullivan, Kris O’Callaghan won the minor player of the year, while the club person of the year award was won by Pat O’Regan.

The club chair said the awards night also presented an ideal opportunity for the young players in the club to integrate with the club’s adult players as they make their way onto the various adult teams. 

“A few players will be moving up from the minor team to the different adult teams. Minor awards were also presented on the night, and it was good to see the older players mingling with the younger players. It was a very successful social evening. It is important to integrate the young players into the adult environment.” 

Aherne is greatly encouraged by the continued progress of the minor players with several of them already featuring regularly on their adult teams in both football and hurling. 

We have a very talented bunch coming through from minor level. A good number of those players have already transitioned into our adult teams. 

"We have at least seven minor players appearing regularly on our junior hurling team and five or six minor players appearing for the various adult football teams at either intermediate or junior level. We have several players who are not playing with the adult teams at present due to the Leaving Cert.” 

Rian O'Regan was named the intermediate player of the year at the recent Kinsale GAA awards night.
Rian O'Regan was named the intermediate player of the year at the recent Kinsale GAA awards night.

The Carrigdhoun divisional club appears poised for a strong future based on its thriving membership which is growing on an annual basis. The club chairperson said the numbers coming through are ‘very promising’. 

“The numbers coming through and playing GAA in the club are very promising. I previously served as an underage chairperson and in the last four or five years, the numbers have increased massively. We had 600 members a few years ago and we are now up to 1,300 members.

“This number is constantly growing by about 40 or 50 members. The 1,300 members comprise the ladies’ football, camogie, and the adult and juvenile sections for both football and hurling. We are all part of one club. We go under the logo, one club, one vision. Our numbers are growing on an annual basis. There are a lot of housing estates coming up in the town, so we expect the numbers to keep growing,” he added.

The GAA club are very conscious of the need to ensure their strong membership numbers are maintained.  

Aherne said they have established a good structure all the way through the club to ensure club members are ‘participating’ and enjoying themselves. 

“A big challenge is to maintain the numbers and ensure they enjoy the games and being a part of the club. We have a good structure at underage level in terms of getting the kids participating and enjoying themselves as the numbers are so decent all the way up.

At U15 level we have between 25 and 30 players. We have similar numbers at U14 level and all the way down. 

"We are very aware of making sure the drop-off in numbers between primary school and secondary school is not big and I think we have solved that issue. Our next mission is to overcome the transition from underage to the adult section,” he added.

Kinsale GAA Club through their coaching committee also places a strong emphasis on establishing close ties with the five primary schools in the locality which they do by holding regular coaching sessions in both codes. 

“We have a coaching committee and a head of coaching who do a massive amount of work. We also have very good ties with the local schools, especially with the primary schools in terms of getting in there. Over the last number of years, we have had a coach going into all the five primary schools in the locality for several hours a week doing coaching sessions in both hurling and football.”

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more