Benchmarking Coaching Conference Feb 2017

On Sat 11th Feb, 2017, all Cork club Coaching Officers and their invited guests, who took part in our Benchmarking 2020 program, attended the Rebel Og Coaching & Games Benchmarking Conference held in the Nemo Rangers GAA clubs, wonderful facilities. Because of the large numbers of clubs taking part in our Benchmarking 2020 program it, 117 in all, it was decided to provide our Coaching Officers the opportunity to take part in three informative workshops on the day, which was held before the presentation of the Benchmarking certificates and was followed up with a chance to sit back, relax, chat, have some hot food and meet with other Coaching officers and mentors from other clubs and of course some time to chat with our GDA’s and guest speakers one to one.

Registration started at 12.30 pm and once this was complete, Cork Games Manager Kevin O’Callaghan welcomed the large crowd on the day giving a brief outline of the program of events for the rest of the conference before introducing our first workshops in the Main Hall presented by Noel Furlong.

Noel, winning manager of the Tony Forristal and Sonny Walsh U14 Hurling All Ireland Competitions in 2016 and former Coach to UCC Freshers & Seniors and current Manager of Fr O’Neills, is a key protagonist of a Games Based approach to sport and with the assistance of players from the Cork U15 squads held a 40 min practical workshop in both hurling and football on this subject, which was greatly received by all in attendance.

Once Noel had finished his presentation, there was a question and answer session giving all the coaching officers a chance to clarify some issues and ask questions which arose from the practical session, once that was complete everyone retired to the main function room in Nemo Rangers to sit in on the second workshop of the day with former Cork Senior & Minor Football Manager and Principal of Scoil Spioraid Naomh, Brian Cuthbert.

Brian discussed the importance of the Coaching Officers within the club from a Principals perspective and the Coaching Officers Role within the club. His presentation also included some great insights into coaching younger players in your club and how you manage them, the mentors, the parents in a cohesive way to make sure that everyone within the club was following the same structure and pathway through the grades from the club nursery to senior level teams. Again after his 40 min presentation there followed a very insightful question and answer session, giving everyone a chance to delve further into the workshop subject material.

When Brian was finished Cork GAA Chairman, Ger Lane was introduced and after receiving a warm reception he spoke about the importance of the work that club coaching officers do within their clubs which in turn would benefit everyone in Cork GAA, he was delighted that this event was well attended and that everyone was striving to improve their knowledge base and skill set by attending this conference. He congratulated all the clubs on receiving their certification in either Gold Silver or Bronze and was delighted that all clubs in Cork were working towards a common goal in Cork GAA which would reap dividends at Minor, U21 and Senior Inter county level in both hurling and football going forward. He finished by thanking everyone for the work carried out at club level across the county by coaches mentors players and Corks GDA’s and wished all clubs well for the coming year.

Next item on the agenda was our final workshop with Cork GAA Coaching Officer, Kevin O’Donovan. Kevin who is the current Coaching Officer for Cork GAA since 2014 and a former GDA and current County Development Squads Administrator, gave a presentation on the importance of Juvenile Club development and Best Practice within your club. Again after a very informative 40 min presentation the final question and answer session of the day was held which sparked great debate and serious questions on the role of the juvenile club in Cork from those in attendance. Once this was complete it was the time to hand out our Benchmarking 2020 Awards.

Rebel Óg Coaching Benchmarks 2020 were successfully launched in early 2015 and provide a template for best practice in coaching, promoting maximum participation and optimal playing standards in juvenile clubs throughout Cork city and county. The programme includes minimum requirements for entry, with subsequent progression to Bronze, Silver or Gold targets, which clubs would strive to achieve with the assistance of their local GDA.

One item we must include here was the launch of the “Rebel Óg Coaching Club Manual 2020” which was officially launched on the day by Cork Coaching Officer Kevin O’Donovan and GDA Colm Crowley. This was handed out to every coaching officer along with their certificate on the day.

This useful manual was compiled by the Cork GDA’s headed up by Colm Crowley and Kevin O’Callaghan and has some very useful information for clubs on Our Vision, Role of the Club, Role of the Coach, Role of the Parent, Coach 10 MVA Model and Role of the Coaching Officer along with items on Coach Education, Club School link, Long term player development, Coach training performance checklist, Nursery Child & Youth Sports Specific skills development and Male Youth Physical Development Model as well as contact information for the GDA’s A lot of work has gone into this useful guide for Coaching Officers and is going to be a stable part of any coaching officers tool kit going forward.

As there were over 79 awards to give out we started with our Benchmarking Gold standard winners of 2016 and this year saw an increase in numbers from 6 last year to the 18 clubs listed below this year, well done to all.

Gold 2016
Ballincolllig Blackrock Fermoy Nemo Rangers
Ballinora Carrigaline Fr O’Neills Whitechurch
Bandon Carrigtwohill Killeagh Youghal
Bantry Clonakilty Kinsale
Bishopstown Cobh Midleton

This was followed by our Benchmarking 2020 Silver standard winners and again a large increase of in the numbers of clubs who took part and attained Silver status in 2016 as listed below, once again well done to all clubs for the work to move up from Bronze last year to Silver this year.

Silver 2016
Adrigole Charleville Inniscarra Milford
Aghinagh Clondrohid Kanturk Newcestown
Ballygarvan Clyda Rovers Kilbrittain Newmarket
Ballyhea Courcey Rovers Killavullen Sam Maguires
Barryroe Croke Rovers Kilmeen/Kilbree Shandrum
Blarney Donoughmore Kiltha og Sliabh rua
Brian Dillons Eire Og Kilara Og St Catherines
Carbery Rangers Erins Own Lisgoold Tracton
Castlehaven Gleann na Laoi Macroom Valley Rovers
Castletowneroche Granard Gaels Mallow Watergrasshill

The  final group to receive recognition for the hard work carried out over the year were our Benchmarking 2020 Bronze Standard winners and once more we saw an increase in numbers at this level despite many clubs moving up to Silver from Bronze last year. A lot of work has been carried out in these clubs and we say well done to all involved.

Bronze 2016
Aghada Dripsey Naomh Aban St James
Argideen Rangers Ilen Rovers Oliver Plunkets Tadgh Mac Carthaighs
Buttevant Iveleary Passage Whites Cross
Castlelyons Kildorrery Shanballymore
Cillna Martra Laochra og St Colums
Crosshaven Mhuintir Bhaire St Marks


A big well done and thank you
to the following people for their help in running this years Benchmarking Conference.  Our guest speakers on the day Noel Furlong, Brian Cuthbert, Kevin O Donovan and Cork GAA Chairman Ger Lane.  All the staff in Nemo Rangers who provided fantastic facilities, great food and great parking. To our young players who helped out in the practical workshop, not easy trying to demonstrate skills etc with a large crowd of coaches watching your every move.  To Kevin O Callaghan, Cork Games Manager and all the GDA’s who worked so hard during the year to help clubs reach this point. Sean Crowley, James McCarthy, Paudie O’Brien, Pat Spratt, Colm Crowley, Noel Crowley and Shane Supple. We must also mention the support and cooperation of all in Cork GAA and Rebel Og as well as the clubs who work so hard and provide so much help during the year with venues, pitches and players referees and mentors. To  The Evening Echo and all our local news media for the support we receive during the year. And finally we must say a big thank you to all Coaching Officers in all clubs for their unending hard work, co operation and organisation within their own clubs. A job not many can take on and which is sometimes overlooked within club committees but none the less a vital role in any club and the main point of contact for our GDA’s around the county with each club “well done and thank you”

Rebel Og Coaching Benchmarking Conference 2020 Feb 2017