Carlow GAA is proud to announce that our rejuvenated CLUB-SCHOOL LINK PROGRAMME has received a huge boost with the announcement today that New Ireland Assurance have agreed a sponsorship package for school year 2015/16. The Programme, now under the stewardship of Carlow GDA Seán Gannon, has been spreading its wings across every corner of the County over the last 6 months and with all Primary Schools back to business almost all of them stand to benefit from this news.
It is natural for most children to be drawn towards outdoor sport. The obvious location where the introduction process commences is in the local primary school. Clubs that are organised on a consistent basis in supporting their local primary school will be successful in the long term. The Club, school and the children will benefit mutually.
The idea for the Programme arose from the benefits of every Club having a qualified Coach in their local Primary School. Obviously the ‘link’ between the Coach and his/her Club very quickly becomes apparent to the pupils and as a consequence they would be far more inclined to join their local GAA Club. This is a Programme that is at the very heart of grassroots GAA; community, parish and local school and, going forward, is the only sustainable method of growing the local Club’s playing members from the youngest age upwards.
The Programme has enormous scope for growth and as almost every Club and primary school in the County are availing of the initiative at this stage, the concept can only grow stronger as the years progress. Both Clubs and schools in Carlow are constantly growing and expanding so for New Ireland the opportunity to be associated with the Programme in its infancy would obviously be an exciting prospect.
Speaking on behalf of Carlow GAA, Operations Manager Ronan Dempsey said; “We are extremely pleased with the progress we have made so far this year with the Club-School Link and to have the support and expertise of New Ireland Assurance behind us will really push the Programme to an exciting, new level. The link between school and coach is so crucial to the growth of participation within our Clubs. The children benefit, the schools benefit and of course the local GAA Club keep that all important link with their catchment audience. This Programme is a unique, niche area of the GAA and we in Carlow are the first County I believe to link a sponsor to it.”
Kevin O’Grady from New Ireland Assurance spoke of his company’s interest in the GAA and in particular this grassroots initiative; “New Ireland is almost 100 years old and we firmly believe in the GAA and the positive effect it can have on the local community. This Programme is designed to help both school and Club grow together and the link forged between the two can only be a good thing for all concerned, not least the children.”
Yet another very positive development for Carlow GAA this year, long may it continue !