14 April, 2011

Cork leading the way in underage set-up:

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Rebel Óg launched by GAA President: Cork's Christy Cooney
Cork may well be reigning All-Ireland football champions but local GAA
officials have been hard at work planning a new underage structure for
the county in recent months. Around 80,000 children are involved in
Gaelic games from the age of six up to minor level in Cork, making it
the biggest underage system in Ireland, and Rebel Óg has been created
to ensure a new emphasis on player development while encouraging
participants to remain on with the Association in the longer term. 
One board, Coiste na nÓg Chorcaí, will now oversee fixture programming
for 220 schools, 169 clubs and all the various camps and will be
helped by four regional boards – Central (for the city and outlying
urban areas), north, west and east – in place of the 16 boards that
existed previously.
A ‘Go Games’ initiative will focus on getting younger players to enjoy
being involved - taking away the competitive element of matches -
while Schools of Excellence and Development Squads will allow the best
players from each age grade to improve their skills further. The
ultimate aim of the new structure will be to have players ‘Play & Stay
with the GAA’.
“A strategic review has been taking place in Cork over the past 18
months and a report into the findings was announced last September,”
Coiste na nÓg PRO Cian O’Brien explained:  "“In 2010 we
had 16 boards arranging matches for everyone from 18 down to six. Now,
we’ll have one parent board with four regional boards, involving the
schools, putting together a master fixtures list for our 12,000 games
a year.
“What we want to ensure is that a boy in 6th class playing Sciath na
Scoil with his school isn’t playing a club match the same day. It will
allow kids to know when they are playing, when they have training and
will prevent player burnout. For certain age groups, it’s a feast or a
famine - they might have nothing for six months and then four matches
over three weeks. The aim is to have them playing regularly throughout
the year.”
For more information log onto rebelog.ie
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