Memories to cherish from 2024 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Festival Days in Offaly and Dublin

PARTICIPANTS left with memories to last a lifetime from the 2024 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Festival Days held at venues in Offaly and Dublin.


The Faithful Fields Offaly Centre of Excellence and the GAA’s National Games Development Centre in Abbotstown were hives of activity for the Festival Days, which took place on Saturday April 27 and Monday May 6 respectively.


A total of eight clubs, representing Cork, Cavan, Mayo, Tipperary and Westmeath, were present in Offaly, followed by the presence of eight more clubs from Antrim, Armagh, Down, Dublin and Westmeath, in the capital yesterday.


These special days saw a total of 16 clubs representing nine counties share their experiences of the 2024 programme, with players also picking up key tips from ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassadors, who are leading former or present inter-county stars.


The participants took part in 7-a-side games, while also absorbing 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 and sponsors of the All-Ireland U18 Championships.

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 providing expertise and advice to participants for the duration of the programme, alongside some fellow inter-county stars.

Representatives from the 20 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.

The spectacular festival days at the Faithful Fields and GAA National Games Development Centre showcased the key messaging for both players and coaches.

LGFA President Mícheál Naughton commented: “Well done and congratulations to the 20 clubs, covering the four provinces, who participated in the 2024 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme. This programme is extremely vibrant and has the ability to transform coaching philosophies in the participating clubs, and ensure that excellent foundations are in place for the years to come. The programme aims to build on the good work that has already been accomplished, while also encompassing invaluable knowledge and expertise from our leading ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassadors. I would also like to acknowledge the support of our programme sponsors, ZuCar, who are also the LGFA’s Official Performance Partner and sponsors of our All-Ireland Minor Championships. ZuCar are extremely invested in the ongoing development and progress of our teenage players and they played a key role in the rollout of the 2024 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme.”

Gavin Hydes, Group CEO, ZuCar, added: “We are exceptionality proud of our association with the Gaelic4Teens programme. Developing this underage talent is fundamental to the future and we were very excited to be involved with an initiative that is aimed at developing coaches and increasing the retention rate of teenage girls in Ladies Football. This was a wonderful opportunity for coaches to grow and learn, and to then assist young players involved in the LGFA.”


The 20 clubs who took part in the 2024 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme are as follows:

Connacht (4): St Mary’s (Leitrim), Mayo Gaels and Carnacon (both Mayo), St Molaise (Sligo).

Leinster (5): Ballyboden St Enda’s and St Sylvester’s (both Dublin), Moynalvey (Meath), Goldsmiths and Shandonagh (both Westmeath).

Munster (5): Dohenys, Mallow, Rathpeacon, Kilshanning (all Cork), Ardfinnan (Tipperary).

Ulster (6): Naomh Seamus (Antrim), Pearse Ógs and Whitecross (both Armagh), Mullahoran (Cavan), St Patrick’s Saul and Teconnaught GAC (both Down).

For further information, please contact LGFA Head of Coach Development William Harmon:

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