THE President of the GAA has welcomed County Hall’s backing for a new coaching project which it is hoped will develop underage talent and raise the GAA participation in the fast growing towns.
The new three year plan was offcially announced at the Civic Reception for Liam O’Neill in County Hall last week.
Laois County Council with Leinster Council and Laois County Board have entered into a partnership agreement to co-fund the appointment of GAA Development Officers.
Their job will be to promote and develop gaelic games focusing specifically on increasing participation around the county.
Under the scheme two graduates of the GAA backed Sports and Excercise Degree at Carlow IT will be recruited. Their job will be to provide the latest sports coaching in Laois.
The initiative was welcomed by Mr O’Neill and he thanked the County Manager Mr Peter Carey for backing the project. “I am delighted that you have decided to support the Laois coaching inititiative. It is not just the value of what you have give us but it is also the value of what you do... The wider GAA community will see that as a huge support for us in difficult times,”
In a statement the council said the initiatve responds to the growing populations in urban areas, and said no other county has been impacted to the same degree by population shift in the country as Laois.
“Such changes has created enormous challenges not least in larger urban areas where both Laois County Council and the GAA wish to increase participation”.
The council said that both organisations are community focused and believe such a partnership will serve to strengthen local ties and ultimately get more people playing sport.
“The Games Development Officers will be responsible for developing gaelic games in clubs, school, and communities and by supporting the existing volunteer backbone structure.”
A meeting is due to be held this week to agree the approach to suitable graduates as appropriate.
Chairman of Laois GAA, Brian Allen thanked the council for its support. He said it is hoped that one of the coaches will work exclusive with town clubs to develop skils but also the coaching of underage players.
He said the coaches would work side by side with club coaches to taking sessions to develop the county’s talent.