ANNOUNCEMENT Mayo GAA Coaching Officer Declan O’Reilly
SEVENTEEN Mayo GAA clubs have expressed an interest in signing up to the new ‘Club Development Officer’ project which would see them secure the services of a GAA coach for a six-month period, beginning in February of next year.
Mayo GAA coaching officer, Declan O’Reilly, told the recent County Board meeting that he expected nine new coaches to be recruited under the new scheme, which is being piloted and run by Connacht GAA.
A total of 468 third-level students have expressed an interest in the available positions, which would see the successful candidates coaching in both GAA clubs and national schools within the club’s catchment area.
Under the terms of the project, each club would pay 70 percent of the coach’s wages with the remainder covered by Mayo GAA (20 percent) and Connacht GAA (10 percent).
O’Reilly explained that each Mayo club that had applied were due to be contacted by the provincial council last week, and ‘offered a coach on either a ‘one club model’, a ‘two club model’ [where two clubs would share the coach] or a three club model’ [where three clubs would share the coach].
“The rule of thumb that they’re using is that, if there are more than 700 children in your catchment area, you may be entitled to a ‘one club model’,” he said.
“A lot of the 17 clubs that have expressed an interest have expressed a preference for either a two club or a three club model.”
“If you feel there’s anyone within your club who fits the criteria, then contact the Mayo Games Manager,” Billy McNicholas,” added O’Reilly.
“We’re hoping to free up our full-time coaches to go into clubs by having these new coaches to go into national schools,” he concluded.
Cúl Camp concerns
THE number of children attending Mayo GAA Cúl Camps next year have to be capped due to ‘the big challenge’ of recruiting coaches.
That’s according to Mayo GAA coaching officer, Declan O’Reilly, who told a recent County Board meeting that ‘over 160 coaches’ had been required for this summer’s 54 camps which were attended by more than 6,500 kids.
“It was a big success this year, but we’re in an era of full-employment now so a lot of 18 year-old boys and girls, they have employment opportunities, apart from the Cúl Camps,” explained O’Reilly.
“So in order to meet our ratios, and in order to ensure the safety of children, coaches, parents, that we have the correct environment, we may have to cap those numbers further next year.
“Because it’s either increase the coaches or decrease the number of participants.
“And we seem to having difficulty getting coaches.
“We’ll try and get more coaches, we’ll go the clubs early in the new year, to see can we entice more people in, because it really is a worthwhile project.
“But we must be mindful that we must create a safe environment, we must meet our ratios, which is eight children to one coach.
“So a club that had 120 children participating this year, that may be reduced to 100 this year.
“Whatever needs to be done, we must ensure that they’re run properly.”