THE Connacht GAA Council, in association with sponsor Gaelic Telecom, will host the first ever Connacht Club Forum in the TF Conference Centre, Castlebar on Saturday, January 27. All 288 GAA clubs in the province are invited to send three representatives to the symposium, which it is hoped will help to renew and re-energise the clubs in the province.
The forum will have a number of distinct elements with something of interest to everybody. The morning session will consist of a series of high-tech presentations on a range of topics directly relevant to the club, given by personnel very experienced in their field. The topics will include presentations on pitch maintenance and floodlighting, club planning and leadership, alcohol and drug awareness, the new discipline procedures, communications and PR, and many more. A keynote address on the role and relevance of the club in the association and the community will be delivered before lunch, which will be provided for all delegates in the TF.
The afternoon session will commence with a series of workshops on topics which have been identified by the clubs of the province themselves such as finance, volunteerism and the club fixture programme. The proceedings will conclude with an open forum when delegates will have an opportunity to ask the questions that matter to them from a distinguished panel who presented earlier sessions.
The forum will provide a unique opportunity to raise concerns relevant to them in their own province, and a rare chance to meet their counterparts from all over Connacht in a non-combative environment. All clubs will receive a full programme brochure shortly and further details will be available in local media and on the Connacht GAA website www.connachtgaa.ie
The Connacht GAA Council hope that every single club in the province will avail of this opportunity to partake in an event which can only be of benefit to all of them as they face the challenges of 2007.
MEANWHILE, the curtain comes down on the Connacht GAA Writers’ Personality of the Month awards for 2006 with the announcement this week of the winners of the November and December awards.
The recipient for November is Mark O’Carroll, 23-year-old captain of the St Brigid’s, Roscommon, team which defeated Corofin of Galway in the Connacht Club Football Championship final. Mark, the holder of two Roscommon SFC medals, crowned a magnificent midfield display in the provincial final by kicking three spectacular first-half points, all from play.
The December award winner is Brendan Prendergast of Mayo football club Tuar Mhic Éadaigh, for his inspirational Man of the Match performance in the Connacht Intermediate Club Football Championship final against Carrigallen of Leitrim.
The overall award – 2006 Personality of the Year – will be presented on Friday night, January 26, at a special function in the Traveller’s Friend Hotel and Royal Theatre, Castlebar, sponsor of the awards scheme since its inception five years ago.
ELSEWHERE, two former officers of East Mayo GAA Board will be honoured at a function in the Gateway Hotel in Swinford on Friday night. Mick Higgins, who was chairman for 13 years, and Tom McNicholas, who was treasurer as well as a former distinguished inter-county referee, will be honoured by the Board. Both are natives of Kiltimagh.