The IT Sligo / Cumman na mBunscol Gaelic games coaching programme is currently running at every primary school in the county. In all, 18 students who are studying full time on the Bachelor of Business (Recreation & Leisure) Degree at I T Sligo will spend 13 weeks coaching over young primary school children in Gaelic football and hurling.
This is the eighth year of a programme in Sligo and it is the only one of its type throughout the country. Each of the students have already completed their GAA qualification in recent weeks and this work placement opportunity allows them to experience what it is like to work full time in a school environment. The GAA award is one of ten National or European qualifications which students can attain while studying for this business degree at the Institute. Other awards include European gym instruction and personal training qualifications and National swim instruction and lifeguarding awards.
Cumman na mBunscol in Sligo has invested heavily in this partnership over recent years, with a view to enriching the experience of primary school students and preparing the next generation of Gaelic football players in the county. A survey which was conducted at the end of last years programme highlighted a very high satisfaction rating amongst all primary schools who participated in the programme.
John Hughes Principal of Geevagh National School and County Coaching Officer of Cumman na mBunscol said of the programme: “This is the most eagerly awaited event of the school year for Sligo primary schools, probably only second to the Summer school holidays. The coaches are always well prepared and the children respond very well to this.”
During the 13 week programme, the students will be supervised by Liam Og Gormley the GAA Development Officer for County Sligo. Activities will include football and hurling skills coaching and the very popular ‘Go Games’ Blitz competitions.
Roddy Gaynor Programme Co-ordinator and Lecturer on the Bachelor Business (Recreation & Leisure) course said: “This is a tremendous opportunity for our students to work full time in a professional capacity with young children in a school environment. Some of them will choose a career in teaching as a result of their experiences over the next few months, as has been the case with past graduates.”