This month the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) confirmed that 17 clubs from across the country have been selected to take part in the Gaelic4Teens programme for 2019.

The programme aims at helping clubs retain their current base of teenage players while also recruiting new players in the 13-17 age bracket. This age bracket was identified as being a group with a high drop-out rate.

Emyvale Ladies Gaelic Football Club were delighted to receive the news last month that they were selected as one of just 17 clubs – the only club from the county of Monaghan – to present this programme in 2019.

The research that prompted the development of the Gaelic4Teens programme revealed that players play for enjoyment, to keep fit and healthy, to relieve stress and because their friends also play.   The reasons highlighted for giving up the sport are that they don’t get enough playing time, there is no fun at training, that it is too competitive and that they are treated differently.   The Gaelic4Teens programme has been tailored to address this drop-out by focussing on the social aspect of sport, making it more fun and enjoyable without the pressure of competition.

As well as tailoring training sessions, there will be a focus on education that will see well-known players Sharon Courtney (Monaghan), Orlagh Farmer (Cork), Jackie Kinch (Wicklow), Sinead Delahunty (Tipperary), Bronagh McGrane (Louth), Cliodhna O’Connor (Dublin) and Fiona McHale (Mayo) provide expertise and advice to participants for the duration of the programme.

Speaking at the launch of the Gaelic 4 Teens programme, LGFA Operations & Planning Manager, Paula Prunty, said ‘We were very pleased to introduce this pilot programme aimed at players in their mid to late teens. There has been much discussion about the ‘drop-out’ age but we decided it was best to have a proactive approach to attracting and retaining players. We also realised that the emphasis of this programme needed to be on the clubs as much as the players. We have endeavoured to provide clubs with as much knowledge and practical advice as possible to enable them to retain these players that they have nurtured through their underage teams. We look forward to continuing our work with these clubs in the coming year and monitoring their progress as we look to roll out this programme on an annual basis.’

Having recently completed the specialised training to run the programme, coaches from Emyvale Ladies GFC will officially launch Gaelic4Teens on Tuesday 12th March 2019 at 7pm in Emyvale Leisure Centre.  The programme which will run for a total of eight weeks will culminate in a jam-packed day of activities at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin.   Participating clubs will visit the impressive venue for a series of 7-a-side games, while also picking up valuable tips, nutrition advice and coaching expertise from some of Irelands top ladies Gaelic footballers.

Further information relating to the programme is available by contacting any member of the Emyvale Ladies GFC Committee.