Eight Cork clubs were lucky enough to grace the hallowed Croke Park turf for Munster Coaching & Games u12 Blitz days. The 4 football clubs were Clondrohid, Grenagh, Carberry Rangers and Croke Rovers. In hurling, Douglas, Carrigtwohill, Milford and Valley Rovers represented Cork.
The clubs had 1 hour playing time on the pitch and then had a museum and stadium tour which proved very popular. The highlight was undoubtedly playing on the pitch in 3 games against clubs from all over Munster. There were many tales of goals scored and points taken by the boys who had an unforgettable day out.
The Benchmarking 20/20 Vision Initiative has replaced the LEE Flag and meeting the criteria in this new Initiative is the only way for clubs to gain selection for the 2016 Croke Park Blitz Days.
Lee Flag… further details
Club Coaching Officer
Many clubs around the country have identified the requirement to appoint a Club Coaching Officer to support the development of coaching and games at club level. This position is a key support to increasing participation, reducing dropout and improving standards in some of our most successful units. He / she should be familiar with the GAA Games Development Programme, GAA Coach Education Programme and the GAA Code of Best Practice for Youth Sport and Joint Code of Behaviour.
The key duties of the Club Coaching Officer are to:
• Act as a point of contact in the club for communication of Coaching and Games Development initiatives from County, Provincial and National level.
· Drive & support the organisation of Games Development Initiatives, Cúl Camps & Club School Coaching.
· Co-ordinate the organisation of Coach Education Programmes for Club Members
· Develop and support a Club Coaching Structure
· Ensure all teams/players have access to a qualified Coach
· Communicate between managers & age groups to ensure players get appropriate game to rest ratios
· Develop and promote links between the Club and the local National and Post-Primary Schools
Schools Liaison Officer …. steps to Establishing Club-School Links
· Ensure that the club has a dedicated School Liaison Officer (SLO). The SLO should be selected after considering availability to visit the school during school hours and communication skills. (If there is a club member teaching in the school he/she should not be asked to be SLO)
· The SLO and club Chairperson could arrange to meet the principal and teacher with responsibility for sport/games.
· Agree points of contact for club and school.
· Outline the club’s work at underage and the Go Games Programme which promotes participation for all.
· Establish what support the school requires in terms of: (a)Equipment and gear (b)Facilities (c)Coaching assistance in the school setting (d)Support for Cumann na mBunscol activities (e)Assistance with organising Go Games Blitzes (f) Support for after school activities e.g. homework clubs (g)Information about coaching courses (h) Club membership for staff
· Formalise arrangements regarding mutual use of each others’ facilities.
· Establish (and keep up to date) a GAA notice-board in the school with information on Club Blitzes, Ú Can (Skill) Awards, GAA Cúl Camps, Cumann na mBunscol activities etc.
· Provide a calendar of club events e.g. registration days, Go Games Blitzes etc. and keep up to date with school events.
· Liaise with the Games Development Administrator and the school to keep up to date with school initiatives including the GAA Céim ar Aghaidh Education Resource, GAA Fun Do Coaching Pack, Cúl4kidz magazine and the Schools Coaching programme.
· Circulate a club newsletter to the school children to encourage them to become involved in the club.
· Host schools Go-Games blitz at the club pitch and hold a follow up event on a Saturday or Sunday morning.
· Build on the new partnership; both the club and school could link together on new projects and schemes that will encourage children toPlay and Stay with the GAA.
• Completion of Garda Vetting Documentation
• To develop and maintain a youth centred ethos by promoting awareness of the “Code of Best Practice for Youth Sport”.
• To encourage the involvement of parents/guardians in organising activities and to co-operate with parents in ensuring that every young person enjoys his/her involvement.
• To establish a link between the Underage and Adult sections of the Club.
• To establish good links with local schools involved in the promotion of Gaelic games.
• To ensure that the rules regarding eligibility for competitions are adhered to.
To ensure that PLAYERS, PARENTS/GUARDIANS, COACHES, MENTORS, OFFICIALS & SPECTATORS apply FAIR PLAY
Annual Club Coach Audit
This criterion involves the returning of the coach audit by email on an annual basis. This will provide details on all coaches in the club and their involvement with teams as well as their coaching qualifications. As the GDA for your area will email the previous year’s version to you, it will simply require some minor updating on an annual basis.
As games development funding from Croke Park is largely subject to activity levels and reaching predefined targets, it is essential that all activities concerning players under the age of 18 in Cork are recorded. This criterion therefore, relates to the completion of a simple sheet on a monthly basis recording any blitzes or activities which are not picked up by fixture lists. There is no requirement to record training sessions for example, but if a club organises a challenge match played in the Go Games format, or Super Touch format, it should be included.
Club Games Development Plan
Each club should have a coaching plan in palce., Club Coaching Coordinator, Personnel Required, Focus on participation in the club and local schools, Nursery Programme, Qualified Coaches, School Liaison, Code of Conduct, Player Retention
Club Nursery Programme
The ABC/Have a Ball Nursery Programmes are a series of fun-based exercises to develop movement skills for children aged 4-8 years old. These skills form the basis for the later development of the specific skills of Hurling and Gaelic Football. The level of competency with which one can perform these skills is referred to as their level of Physical Literacy. Movement and ball manipulation skills should be developed in the early years of physical development to provide the basis for all further development. However, they should be practiced throughout the career development of a player, and are typically utilised as elements of warm-up activities for both developing and elite players. This resource incorporates a number of elements which enable coaches to assist and challenge players to develop their full potential in a fun-filled environment. The GAA Nursery Resource forming part of the Fun Do Learning Resource Pack. These elements are as follows: ABC Programme, Have a Ball Programme, Sample Sessions
The ABC Programme provides a range of activities which can be used to develop movement skills incorporating Agility, Balance, Coordination, Running and Jumping. ABC stands for Acquiring Bilateral Coordination, whereby all of the skills are developed on the left and right sides of the body, using left and right hands and feet. Within the ABC Programme, for each of the 5 skills outlined, there are three levels of exercise – Level 1 being the easiest, Level 2 moderately difficult and Level 3 most difficult. With an average of 8 exercises within each level, there are approximately 120 exercises which can be used to develop movement skills. As the exercises are grouped based on ability level, many exercises can be substituted for each other while keeping the difficulty level of the session consistent. This helps to ensure that sessions are varied, both for the players and the coach.
The Have a Ball Programme provides a range of activities which can be used to develop ball manipulation skills. These skills include Throwing, Catching & Passing, Kicking and Striking. Activities in this section focus on the participants’ ability to play with and manipulate balls of various sizes, shapes and weights. Within the Have a Ball Programme there are activities that can be used to develop each of the ball manipulation skills. As there are also three difficulty levels outlined, with an average of 8 exercises per level, the Have a Ball Programme offers a bank of approximately 100 exercises that can be used interchangeably.
Kellogg’s Cul Camp
VHI GAA Cúl Camps provide boys and girls – between the ages of 7 and 13 – with an action-packed and fun-filled week of activity during the summer holidays which revolves around maximising enjoyment and sustaining participant involvement in Gaelic Games. Activities are GAME – BASED (a strong emphasis is placed on skill acquisition) and are organised in an age appropriate manner with a view to: optimising learning, enhancing friendships, improving physical & psychological well being and promoting school and club links
The camps are structured so that a different aspect of the game is worked on each day. The programme involves coaching specific skills of the game and the opportunity for children to put into practice what they have learned through small sided games. On the last day of the camp a “blitz” will be organised to provide each child with an introduction to competitive games. VHI Cúl Camps – are run throughout the summer from Monday to Friday, 10.00am to 2.30pm, throughout Cork. Attendance is open to primary school children aged 7 years to 13 years.
Schools coaching programme
In order to meet the criteria under this heading a Club is to run at least 8 sessions (duration 30-45mins) for each pupil in 2nd, 3rd and 4th class over the course of the calendar year. No school coaching is to take place until the Heads of Agreement is signed by all parties. This document outlines the roles and responsibilities of the GAA, the school, the club and the coaches.
U CAN Awards Scheme
The U Can Awards are a progressive series of skills challenges for players, designed to assess and assist with the development of the skills of football / hurling. There are 15 Skills Challenges divided over 5 Star levels – One Star, Two Star, Three Star, Four Star and Five Star. Each Star level corresponds to an age or class, but players can also progress at a rate appropriate to their own level of ability and application. Each Star level is made up of 3 Skill Challenges. Awards are made on the basis of proficiency at each challenge.
Five U8, U10 Go Games blitzes
The main objectives of the GAA’s Games Grassroots to National Programme (GNP) are to maximise participation and optimise playing standards. The big challenge for those in charge of teams is to ensure that games are structured to cater for the needs and abilities of those who participate. The GAA Coaching and Games Development Committee has developed 3 GO Games in Hurling and 3 in Gaelic Football known as -First Touch(Age 7/8),Quick Touch(Age 9/10) andSmart Touch (Age 11/12) – with a view to ensuring that children in both Schools and Clubs master the skills of the game in a positive playing environment and, in the process, derive maximum enjoyment from their involvement.
The key objectives of the Go Games are as follows:
· Promote Full Participation: Provide playing opportunities for all children at their respective levels of participation by ensuring everyone gets to play in the game and that nobody remains a substitute. “Playing, not winning, is the name of the game.”
· Propagate the Principles of Fair Play: Promote sportsmanship.
· Cater for the varying developmental needs of young players: Use modified playing rules and equipment that are appropriate to the age group and ability level of those participating
· Implement the GAA’s Code of Best Practice for Youth Sport: Give practical expression to the GAA’s RESPECT Initiative for Youth Sport by invoking its principles at the fundamental levels of participation.
N.B. While the playing rules for First, Quick and Smart Touch are not necessarily set in stone – the principle of ensuring that all participants get to play the full game is, as is the principle of not awarding medals or trophies arising from success in the Go Games. The benefits of the Go Games are: Increased enjoyment, Increased number of touches on the ball, Increased physical work rate, Increased perception of competence
Super Touch blitzes are for players and clubs at U13 and U15 level who wish to develop tactical and team play attributes, through games known as Super Touch 7/9/11 and 13’s. The Super 7’s/9’s/11’s are a series of small-sided games – involving modified playing rules. They are designed to assist with the development of Technical, Tactical and Team Play Skills and maintain physical/ psychological well being for players over the age of 13.
Referee Education -Young Whistler & Young Referee
This target relates to clubs identifying potential referees and sending at least two persons to attend Young Whistler and Young Referee Courses, respectively. Each Club will also be asked to bring these persons to each Go Games blitz for refereeing of small-sided games. The young referees transition year course aims to provide participants with an understanding of the principles of fair play, and enable them to undertake refereeing assignments within (a) their local club/primary school, and/or (b) in conjunction with first year leagues/blitzes that are organised within their own school and/or in conjunction with the Life Skills course. This course serves as a follow up to the Young Whistlers Course, which is organised at Primary School and/or Underage Club level.