South West Business Intelligence (SWBI) are partnering with the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) in Wales and South West of England to create sporting opportunities for boys and girls aged 7-18. Through sponsorship of events such as St Joseph’s Swansea’s trip to Croke Park we jointly hope to play our part in retaining young people’s participation in sport. The Challenge: To provide access to safe playing environments with qualified coaches for young people throughout the South West and the retention of boys and girls in sport through adolescence into adulthood.
The GAA in the South West are providing coaching and safeguarding courses to enable parents, teachers and past players to become involved in the promotion of Gaelic games in the region. A Primary and Secondary Schools programme is in place in Bristol, Gloucester, Cardiff and Swansea whilst coaches and the region’s Community Development Officer are also delivering physical education (PE) sessions. Gaelic football and hurling are now recognised sports for GCSE PE with 16-year-old candidates also completing coaching courses as part of their Duke of Edinburgh award.
Through sports, boys and girls learn important life skills such as teamwork and leadership and develop self-confidence. Sports participation also helps enhance their self-image and improve their physical and mental health and wellbeing. Training in local facilities and representing local schools and districts fosters a pride and connection with young people and their community. SWBI were delighted to support St Josephs, to play at Croke Park in front of a capacity 83,000 crowd as part of the GAA’s Respect campaign. Twenty-two boys and girls made the trip, playing an exhibition match at half-time of the All Ireland quarter-finals. St Joseph’s, newly crowned British Primary School champions, also played and won all their games against Kilmore GAA club in Wexford the next day.
“It was a once in a life time experience playing in Croke Park. We had just won the British title in London, then played in Croke Park so we were full of confidence when we played the Irish teams. We were well looked after by all the Irish families and it was great to share the experience with all our friends, teammates and the parents and coaches that travelled. Thanks SWBI, the new kits looked the business.”
Ailbe, aged 10
“We are delighted to be working with SWBI, creating sporting opportunities for boys and girls in the South West. SWBI played an important role in enabling St Joseph’s Swansea GAA club to make history in becoming the first Welsh Gaelic football team to play in Croke Park.”
Páraic Maddock, Childrens Officer Gloucestershire GAA