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Edenderry GAA appoint full time Games promotion officer (GPO)

posted 13 Sept 2019, 05:57 by Edenderry GAA

Edenderry GAA made history this week with the ratification by the clubs executive committee and the subsequent appointment of a full time 'Games Promotion Officer', Offaly and St Rynagh's dual star Mairead Daly. Edenderry are the first club in Offaly to appoint a GPO and Mairead has already began working in her new role.

As GPO, Mairead is responsible for the implementation of a project or set of projects as outlined in GAA Games Development Policy. She will work as part of a team, in conjunction with other club personnel, to deliver set goals and objectives for all GAA sports.

Club Chairman David Farrell said: "The appointment is a major undertaking on behalf of the club and requires a significant financial undertaking. However, with the support of part funding from Leinster GAA and the continued backing of our wider membership we are confident we will deliver the necessary investment".

"Dublin GAA has witnessed the successful outcome of their own clubs investment in GPO's over many years. In recent years the GPO programme has been extended to counties experiencing rapid population growth, Kildare, Meath, Wicklow and others. It was for this reason that Edenderry sought inclusion in this project"

"The rapid growth of population has given Edenderry a primary school population of over 1,300 children. Edenderry GAA wish to expose as many of those children to Gaelic Games as possible in order to promote our games but also to encourage healthy lifestyles".

"Our ambition is that Mairead will work with the children in school but also be in the club some evenings and weekends to continue to coach the children. We believe the appointment will allow us to offer a wider range of activities that will extend our playing season and offer a greater variety of options for children and parents, including a series of Camps at Halloween & Easter".

The current Offaly senior ladies captain and Offaly ladies footballer of the decade 2006-2016 is a graduate of Waterford IT where she won the Waterford IT sports star of the year in 2017 and an Higher Education college All Star in 2017. She has been named on the Lidl Division 3 team of the league on four separate occasions in 2013, 2016, 2017 and 2018 as well as winning three senior county titles in a row with her native St Rynagh's.

The appointment is a huge boost to our club as Mairead is just as skilful with a hurley as she is with her feet and this will provide huge benefits to our club as we continue to strive and improve coaching standards across the board. On Wednesday September 11th, Mairead visited the five primary schools in Edenderry where she will spend between 20-25 hours a week coaching hurling, camogie and football to the youngsters in Edenderry. 

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Our nursery program, the 'Cul Redz', which was launched in 2011 will also undergo a revamp as Mairead will be actively be involved in coaching on Saturday mornings. While the young children of Edenderry will certainly benefit from Mairead's new role with the club, our current club coaches will also see huge benefits as Mairead will host in house coaching courses at our club house.

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We spoke to Mairead this week about her new role and she expressed her excitement at being appointed the first ever club GPO in Offaly.

"I’m very excited to be the first ever club GPO in Offaly. Edenderry is a very progressive and driven club which is brilliant, this was obvious from the day I met with the clubs representatives. Through working with Edenderry GAA I’m confident that we will have a mutual beneficial relationship, whereby we are both gaining and sharing valuable experience and knowledge in this industry. I’m hoping to see Edenderry blossom as a highly competitive dual club, as well as increasing the amount of players representing the club".

"I’ve played football and camogie for St Rynaghs since I was about six years old. I loved it then and I still do! I was lucky growing up as I had great family support and enthusiastic coaches throughout my childhood. They really emphasised the importance of fun and expressing yourself through sport. I started playing for my county at u12 level, and I’ve had the honour of captaining the Offaly Ladies team for the past two years"

The twenty four year old has enjoyed a glittering career in both codes having won 3 U14, 5 U16, 5 minor and three senior football titles in her illustrious career to date while also collecting an U14, 2 U16, 2 junior, 2 senior and one Leinster camogie medal. She made her Offaly debut in 2011 aged 16 and has a wealth of experience as both a player and a coach.

"The most enjoyable part of coaching for me is watching players develop in both their personal life and their sporting life. The transferrable skills you learn in sport can have a huge impact in your personal life. It’s important for me that the players I’m coaching come to the session smiling and leave the session smiling. In order to achieve that, I ensure my sessions are based around a competitive, but fun environment".

"From my experience in primary schools previously, I’ve noticed that it’s vital to work on children’s fundamental movements. This will be one of the main elements I’ll be working on throughout the primary schools in Edenderry. I’ll also be looking to introduce and promote both hurling and football in each of the schools. Throughout the primary schools it’s essential that the children are learning in a fun and enthusiastic environment so that will be a big focus in our new GAA programme".

Daly credits Colm 'Gooch' Cooper (Kerry) and Henry Shefflin (Kilkenny) as her sporting idols while Clara Donnelly (Wexford) and Micheala Morkan (Offaly) are regarded as her toughest opponents but she has plenty of vivid memories of Edenderry throughout her playing career so far.

"Edenderry were one of our biggest rivals when I was growing up. One of my worst memories from playing against Edenderry was in my last year U16. They beat us by a couple of points and we didn’t expect it. We weren’t an arrogant team but for some reason we were fairly confident we were going to win so that loss hurt a bit. It stopped us getting six U16 titles in a row. However, we did get our revenge in few senior semi-finals a couple of years later so it wasn’t all bad memories".

Some of the key tasks of the GPO role are outlined below:

Key tasks: 

1. Organise, coordinate and implement (where necessary) Games Development Project(s) for the following as outlined by the County Games Development Manager:
Games Opportunities: A regular programme of games appropriate to the age and ability of the various playing groups at Child/Primary, Youth/Secondary and Adult/Third Level. 

Skill Development Initiatives: Coaching and skill development initiatives appropriate to the age and ability of the various playing groups at Child/Primary, Youth/Secondary and Adult/Third Level.

Education Programmes: A programmes of courses and workshops appropriate to the requirements of Coaches, Administrators and Referees to fulfill their various functions in a Games Development context. 

Support Initiatives: Initiatives to support the development of a sustainable sports system by managing the identification, recruitment and training of key personnel within Clubs, Schools and Counties to effectively develop Gaelic Games in the community. 

2. Report on the implementation of the project(s) on a regular basis, and particularly ensure that data relating to the implementation of the project(s) is available on a quarterly basis through the use of the GAA Games Development Information Management System (MIS). 

3. Maintain key lines of communication with project stakeholders to ensure the successful completion of the project(s).

4. Liaise with Provincial and County Games Development Personnel and attend meetings and personnel training as required, to support the development of the function and the role.

5. Complete any other duties as may reasonably be assigned by the County Games Development Manager, Designated County Officer or the County Games Development Committee.

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