PlayStations booming in Ireland, but are the GAA selling their souls?

PlayStations booming in Ireland, but are the GAA selling
their souls?

While talking about Australia, it was disturbing to note
that, that Continent was picked to announce the imminent
production by Sony of a PlayStation game for the GAA. I
remember about 15 years ago visiting an lady in Dromina
for Easter arriving when a video van was outside the door,
she had just got a box of 20 videos. I was most surprised
that she could be such an addict, but she told me that was
to keep the grandchildren quiet, who be visiting her for
a week at Easter. As it transpired the following week was
a glorious week of sunshine. I was horrified to think, that
they would spend more than 40 hours during the week watching
those wretched things, instead of being out in the fresh
air. The videos have been replaced by DVD’s and PlayStations.

While I acknowledge the importance and convenience of the
computer for many tasks, hey can be a menace in our society.
The PlayStation rage can be an even great menace. We have
had the fantasy football games in the newspapers and that
fantasy word is continued with the PlayStations. I could
safely say that many of our young people spend more time
on the PlayStations playing fantasy games than playing real
outdoor healthy games. It was ironic that the announcement
came from Australia, a country that is sport mad and of
course the climate, has a huge roll, in that obsession.
I can say with a fair degree of certainty that from my experience,
that Australians spent much more time recreating in the
real world, that in the PlayStation world. It is alarming
to note we have he highest Nation of users in Ireland, after
the home of the invention Japan. This is not good for body
or soul.

It seems totally contradictory for the GAA to be promoting
the idea, which again seems to be bound up in money. I was
most surprised to read the comments of Sean Kelly, a man
who I admire and respect a lot. he stated ” I am delighted
to launch this historic initiative–The official Gaelic
Football PlayStation 2 game will have huge benefit for the
GAA. This brings the GAA into a new technological and promotional
era.” very sad indeed when PalyStations have been one of
the main contributory factors, to falling attendance’s at
training, among the younger generation. I was involved in
coaching athletes to the highest level for 30 years, which
led more than 30 to get US scholarships, some to the Olympic
games and World championships, but I virtually retired 3
years ago for 2 reasons the drugs in the sport and 2ndly
young people were not prepared to train for an individual
sport to the same extent that they used to and to the level
I expected and not only expected but demanded.

In more recent years my main focus has been on Ladies football
and while I have been fortunate to find nearly the same
dedication, it is getting more difficult. People can hide
in team games where their level of fitness is not so ruthlessly
exposed as in individual sports, like swimming, cycling
and athletics. The fact remains that the vast majority of
children in Primary schools are not fit, they eat the wrong
kind of foods and the problem of obesity is a growing one
and will continue to grow if corrective measures are not
taken. And if this is true in Primary schools it is infinitely
worse in Post Primary schools. For the most part PE is treated
as a joke and the number of teachers who take sport training,
on a voluntary capacity like heretofore, is dwindling alarmingly.

There is also the problem of discipline, this too has become
a major issue and we are fast approaching a stage when very
few people will be prepared to give of their time in the
promotion of sport amongst our young people. Promoting the
PayStation idea whatever amount of money that’s in it for
the GAA is not a good idea and pressure must be put on those
who have the say, to withdraw their association with it,
in the interests of health, if for no other reason.

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