Abbotstown to host 2023 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Festival day, with clubs from 10 counties set to visit

THE GAA National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown will host the annual National ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Festival day next Saturday April 22.

Clubs from 10 counties are expected to visit to share their experiences and pick up key tips from ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassadors.

The participants will take part in 7-a-side games, while also absorbing key messages from the ambassadors on topics including nutrition, hydration and lifestyle management.

The programme has benefited hugely this year once again from the presence of sponsors ZuCar, who are also the LGFA’s Official Performance Partner.

Following a hugely successful pilot in 2017, Gaelic4Teens has grown considerably to over double in size, and this programme will help clubs to retain their current playing bases while also recruiting players in the 13-17 age bracket, which has been identified as a group with a high drop-out rate.

The ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme worked closely with coaches, influencing the content of their coaching sessions as well as establishing the best ways for coaches to communicate and engage with their players.

In addition, the programme examined the coaching environments required to ensure that the long-term development of players is being facilitated in the clubs.

As well as tailoring training sessions, there was a focus on education with some of the Gaelic4Teens ambassadors Sharon Courtney (Monaghan), Orlagh Farmer (Cork), Jackie Kinch (Wicklow), Sinéad Delahunty (Tipperary), Máire O Shaughnessy (Meath) and Samantha Lambert (Tipperary) providing expertise and advice to participants for the duration of the programme, alongside some fellow inter-county stars.

Representatives from the 21 participating clubs in the full Gaelic4Teens Programme attended six sessions delivered by the ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassadors, while also engaging with self-led modules.

The clubs will also receive a visit from a ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassador or a county player to conduct a coaching session, and witness theory in action.

The research that prompted the development of the Gaelic4Teens programme revealed that players play for enjoyment, to improve and get better, 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.

This spectacular festival day at Abbotstown will showcase the key messaging for both players and coaches.

The clubs currently confirmed for Saturday’s event are as follows:

Monivea Abbey, Galway
Foxrock/Cabinteely, Dublin
Ranelagh Gaels, Dublin
Ballymore, Longford
Whitehall Colmcille, Dublin
St. Patrick’s, Fermanagh
John Mitchels, Kerry
Kill, Kildare
Killavullen, Cork
Thurles Sarsfields, Tipperary
St. Joseph’s, Leitrim
Araglen Desmonds, Cork
Killybegs, Donegal

The 21 clubs who took part this in the 2023 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme are as follows:

Connacht (2): Monivea Abbey (Galway), St. Josephs (Leitrim).

Leinster (8): Éire Óg (Carlow); Ranelagh Gaels, Whitehall Colmcille & Foxrock-Cabinteely (all Dublin), Kill (Kildare), Ballymore, Rathcline & Clonguish (all Longford).

Munster (6): Araglen Desmonds Bui, Delaney’s and Killavullen (all Cork); Austin Stacks and John Mitchels (both Kerry); Thurles Sarsfields (Tipperary).

Ulster (5): Drumlane (Cavan); Four Masters and Killybegs (both Donegal), St. Patricks (Fermanagh), Errigal Ciarán (Tyrone).

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