Thursday 25th November witnessed Ulster GAA’s High Performance Forum in the Glenavon House Hotel, Cookstown. The event was aimed at those working at the elite level of our games within Ulster. It aimed to provide an opportunity to discuss and debate best practice across a range of issues such as, drug testing guidelines, sports science provision and player management, among others.
Among the presenters were staff from Sports Institute Northern Ireland who offered a snapshot of their knowledge and experience within elite sports provision. There was also a presentation by Randox International highlighting their capacity to undertake detailed player blood profiling as well as providing a brief insight into results gained from a pilot study carried out in conjunction with the Down Senior football team and Ulster GAA in 2010. Ulster GAA then detailed the findings and conclusions from the study into manager heart rates during games. Finally, Stephen Browne (Croke Park) summarised issues surrounding drug testing procedures and protocol that are encountered by senior inter-county teams.
The event was well attended, in particular by medical personnel working with county teams. There were several senior managers in attendance also each of whom believed there was great merit in attending the forum. Most, if not all in attendance will have picked up several useful tips for the coming year.