GAA president Christy Cooney and president elect Liam O'Neill at today's launch. INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Brace Yourself

So what's this national hurling development plan about then?

“Hurling was hanging by a thread, literally, and it needed some sort of an intervention.”

GAA CHIEFS TODAY launched a plan aimed at helping the development of hurling throughout the country.

A hurling development committee put together the document which is hoped will see the game flourish in parts of the country which is presently lag behind other counties.

“I welcome the National Hurling Development Plan and the comprehensive nature of the proposals,” GAA president Christy Cooney said today at Croke Park.

“The Hurling Development Committee was set up to review the needs of hurling taking into account the variations in standards across the country. I am now confident that this unique and skillful game will flourish.”

“I wish every success to those who are involved in the implementation of the plan and I look forward to witnessing the positive results,” he added.

Liam O’Neill chaired a committee that comprised the likes of Seán Silke, Mary O’Connor, John Fenton, Dr John Mc Sparran, Jimmy D’arcy and Pat Daly, who were all present at HQ today.

“I believe that there is huge potential to really develop hurling and the real work begins now,” O’Neill said.

“Hurling was hanging by a thread, literally, and it needed some sort of an intervention. It was never going to happen if we did what we did before,” O’Neill said at the launch of the plan in Croke Park.

“It was all about throwing money (at the problem), but now this has changed. This is a people-based plan and it is about games first. We set our stall out straight away with the Táin League. This is about games, getting hurling played, because if you don’t play games you can’t develop hurling.”

Pic: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

So what’s in it? Well the main objective of the plan is to ‘develop the skills and standard of hurling across the country’ we’re told, and these are the six main initiatives they hope will achieve that:

  • The development of the Táin Adult Club Hurling League to provide a ‘meaningful programme of games on a regular basis for adult club players in 13 developing hurling Counties’.
  • The establishment of the national hurling and camogie development centre in Waterford IT Sports Campus.
  • Provision of Sports Science supports to six Counties – Antrim, Down, Carlow, Laois, Westmeath and Kerry.
  • Promotion of the game-based approach to training and development.
  • Appointment of hurling mentors like Liam Sheedy and Joe Dooley as part of a support team who will collaborate with county boards.
  • The undertaking of a study as part of an overall project ‘to facilitate change management in a development context’.

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