GAA Clubs participate in Sport Uniting Communities programme

November 2nd, 2018

Sport Uniting Communities, an EU Peace IV funded programme which aims to promote peace and reconciliation, recently delivered a Volunteer Development Programme to 91 volunteers representing 45 clubs from the Irish FA, Ulster GAA and Ulster Rugby.

The objective of the Volunteer Development Programme is to build capacity within our clubs to help recruit, develop and retain volunteers across the three sports. In Year 1, the Sport Uniting Communities team delivered 5 training days in Belfast, Banbridge, Cookstown, Derry and Enniskillen focusing on the following subjects;

  • Defining roles & responsibilities within Clubs
  • Volunteer recruitment & retention (focus on marginalised groups)
  • Succession planning for volunteers
  • Becoming an inclusive club
  • Volunteer Leadership/mentoring

The workshops were very interactive and encouraged clubs to develop partnerships across the sports. Group discussions allowed for each topic to be examined from a club perspective giving the opportunity for shared learning. Participants got an insight into how small alterations to the everyday running of their club could lead to large gains on and off the field of play. The main learning from the group was that sharing club roles and responsibilities would help prevent “burn out”, and allows for better structures to be put in place which creates more sustainable clubs. Participants had the opportunity to create new roles using the job specification and description handouts.

The clubs exchanged contact information and are keen to hold shared events across the community. The emphasis on networking and the opportunity for shared learning was well received. The clubs will receive a Game of three Halves equipment pack and visit Croke Park, Windsor Park and the Kingspan stadium. The overall feedback from the workshops was extremely positive. Participants reported that “Working with others sports you normally have a bit of fear that you may lose players, this was in fact the opposite as I picked up fresh ideas and contacts” there was also a number of comments in relation to the amount of young people participating in the programme “The amount of young people engaging is a good sign for sports clubs”.

Recruitment for year 2 will begin in January. The programme will start with an initial training day for volunteers. Each club will commit two volunteers to attend the training day, with one being aged 16 – 24 years old. The places are offered on a first come first serve basis. Secure your place by contacting the officer from your sport in your area. For staff details click here.

http://ulster.gaa.ie/sport-uniting-communities/

A project supported by the European Union’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body (SEUPB).

Participating clubs:

Burt GAC, Doire Trasna GAC, Faughanvale GAC, Ederney GAC, Tempo GAC, Maguiresbridge GAC, Teemore, Shamrocks GAC, Bredagh GAC, St Gall’s GAC, Lamh Dhearg, St Marys, Cooke RFC, Malone RFC, Quins RFC, Portadown RFC, Ballynahinch RFC, Queens RFC, Dungannon RFC, Rainey RFC, Monaghan RFC, Coleraine RFC, COD RFC, Letterkenny RFC, Omagh RFC, Enniskillen RFC, Clogher Valley RFC, Strathroy Harps FV, Tummery FC, County Fermanagh Super Cup, Kickstart FC, Institute FC, 22nd Ladies FC, PSNI ladies FC, Crusaders FC, Glentoran FC, SOPFC, Tullyvallen FC, Lurgan Celtic FC, Mid Ulster Ladies FC, Dromara Village, Dromore Amateurs, Banbridge Rangers