Some of the top names in Gaelic Games coaching will be involved in the GAA’s Annual National Games Development Conference – “Coaching Children: Building a Platform for Lifelong Involvement in Gaelic games” – which will take place on Saturday January 14, in Croke Park. This is the 9th annual Conference, and aims to address issues related to the underage player that are of most concern and interest to members of the GAA community.
Run as a partnership between all of the Gaelic Games Associations, and sponsored by Lucozade Sport, the conference will offer the 600 delegates attending an opportunity to access talks relating to key coaching issues in Hurling/Camogie, Gaelic Football/Ladies Gaelic Football, Handball and Rounders which are specifically related to the youth player.
A star studded line up of speakers will feature coaches from the world of Gaelic Games, coaches of Irish Olympic athletes, and international speakers from both Australia and Canada. Cian O’Neill, now trainer of Mayo Senior Footballers and previously of Tipperary Senior Hurlers and former Cork Minor Football manager Brian Cuthbert, will be among the speakers during the event, while Mark Rowe, a GP based in Waterford and Gerry Hussey (Sports Psychologist to the Irish Olympic Boxers) will provide a unique angle on coaching issues currently affecting Gaelic Games.
Performance coach to the Dublin Senior Football team Caroline Currid and former Leitrim footballer Colin Regan will discuss how coaches can encourage positive lifestyle choices for teenagers, and how this will influence their on field performance – a topic that is hugely relevant to coaches of teenagers.
An international flavour will be provided by three world renowned experts in coaching, physical education and player development. From Australia Dr. Julia Walsh, formerly of UCC will discuss the lifelong journey that is coaching, while four time AFL Premiership winning coach David Parkin and Professor Jean Côté (Queens University, Canada) will identify how coaching and player development issues effect sporting organisations around the world, and will attempt to provide an insight into global efforts to develop coaching.
Covering issues related to coaching female players, coaches of both All Ireland Senior and Intermediate Ladies Football champions – Eamonn Ryan (Cork) and Alan Mangan (Westmeath) will be in attendance. In addition, Gerry Fitzpatrick (formerly of Waterford Senior Hurlers and currently with Wexford Senior Camogie team) and former Galway Camogie player Aoife Lane will discuss the development of team cohesion.
Fresh from firing Garrycastle to their first AIB GAA Leinster Senior Club title, Dessie Dolan will join Dr. Giles Warrington (DCU) to present on “Fuelling Our Development – the reality behind hydration and nutrition” and a host of diverse topics will be addressed by an impressive range of speakers including Liam O’Neill (Uachtarán Tofa and Chairman of the National Games Development Committee) and Vinnie Walsh (St Colmans College, Claremorris).
The list of speakers represents an impressive gathering of individuals involved with Coaching and Games Development in Ireland and worldwide. With massive interest in the conference already, places are limited. Those wishing to attend the Conference should reserve their places as soon as possible.
In addition to a comprehensive conference speaker programme, delegates will also be given the opportunity to view practical coaching demonstrations delivered by two expert coaches: Paudie O’Neill (Ballyboden St. Endas) and Eamonn Ryan (Cork Ladies Gaelic Football). These practical coaching demonstrations will take place on the Croke Park pitch.
Launching the Conference, Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana said: “The GAA Games Development Conference has become a major stand out event in the Association’s calendar and the numbers attending the event from all levels of the GAA is testimony to the high regard in which it is held.
“The staging of the conference is also further evidence of our efforts to attain the best possible standards in the area of Games Development and Coaching and I would like to acknowledge and thank Lucozade Sport for their support in the organisation and promotion of the event.”
Supporting the Conference for the fourth successive year, Jim Geraghty, Senior Brand Manager Lucozade Sport said: “We are once again delighted to be associated with this event and we acknowledge the importance of coaching in the growth and promotion of Gaelic Games. It is also crucial in the success that winning teams enjoy. The quality of speakers at this year’s event as ever makes this a stand out event in the GAA calendar.”
Reflecting the partnership approach in the organisation of this years Conference, Sinéad O’Connor (Árd Stiurthóir, Camogie), Chris Curran (National Manager, GAA Handball), Helen O’Rourke (Árd Stiurthóir, Ladies Gaelic Football Association) and Joe O’Donoghue (President, Rounders Association) were also in attendance.