23 January, 2011

Five ways to modernise the GAA:

Follow hoogenband0110 on Twitter

          On it's worst day, the GAA is the best run sporting organisation in Ireland. That said, there are areas that can and should be improved. Small things that would make hurling and Gaelic Football more accessible to people who have not yet been exposed to these great games. Here then are five simple steps the GAA should take to make the games even better than they already are.
English soccer clubs: on the right track putting names on shirts

1.   Names on the backs of player's jerseys:  This is so obvious it comes under the heading "Why haven't they done this already?"At a time when the GAA is competing with the visibility of soccer and rugby players, this is a simple and long over due change. Indeed, it's an addition which is made all the more necessary in hurling by virtue of the compulsory helmets, which disguise one's face, in that code. 

2.   A countdown clock:   Yes, yes, this isn't feasible in every ground/stadium in the country, but it is certainly more than very doable in venues that host inter-county games. More than any other games, hurling and football suffer from a fan's belief that referees play the whistle so as to blow when the scores are level on/close to full-time. It's a historic part of GAA culture, rightly or wrongly. Having an in-stadium clock counting down the remaining seconds would remove the decision from the referee's hands - and also add to the drama of a tight match.

The next generation needs inspiration
3.   The trophy should be taken on tours around the country:     For three months a year, the All-Ireland trophies (Sam Maguire & Liam McCarthy) need to be taken on tours all around the country so kids can see the silver gleam and have their heads filled with dreams. Any Cork child of the 70s and 80s will tell you what an impact Liam McCarthy brought into the schoolyards. The denizens of every county need the chance to know this feeling.

4.   Any game shown on TV should be free to the internet:    The GAA has a wider, social responsibility and making this part of their future broadcast deals would be a fantastic way of showing it understands the importance of these games to the people of the country beyond the island itself. This is especially pertinent in this era of chronic emigration from these shores.

5.   There's an urgent need for a weekly or bi-weekly GAA magazine for kids:     It will lose money rather than make money, but that's not the point of the exercise. It would be central to capturing the imaginations of children. Walk into Eason's any day and count the number of boys you see reading glossy English soccer magazines. More than any other sport in Ireland, the GAA is blessed with a deep roster of excellent journalists who cover gaelic games. 

None of these ideas are rocket science, but the GAA needs to harness the available talents/technology to bring the organisation into the second decade of the 21st century.

Follow hoogenband0110 on Twitter

No comments:

Post a Comment