Ulster GAA has recently received the Inclusive Sport Award by Disability Sport NI in recognition of its commitment to creating an inclusive sports environment for people with disabilities.
The Inclusive Sport Award acknowledges the achievements of governing bodies who have improved sports provision for people with disabilities and will provide the necessary support and guidance to others who wish to work towards developing inclusivity.
The Award was presented virtually by Disability Sports NI during the O’Neill’s Ulster GAA Coaching & Games Development Conference, where the 225 online delegates in attendance learnt about the success of Ulster GAA’s Disability Sports Programme.
Disability Sport NI and Ulster GAA have been working in partnership since 2013 to develop Gaelic games for people with physical and learning disabilities, specifically in Wheelchair Hurling and Learning Disability Gaelic Football.
As a key part of the Award, Ulster GAA has developed a new Inclusive Sport action plan with five key objectives:
- to build a commitment to disability inclusion at all levels in GAA sports
- to increase the availability of awareness training and communication sharing at all levels,
- to provide a clear performance pathway for players,
- to develop a disability coach education framework,
- to improve the experience of spectators with a disability at matches.
Commenting on the award Brian McAvoy, Chief Executive Officer of Ulster GAA said:
“This is a tremendous accolade for Ulster GAA and for our efforts in creating new and exciting opportunities for some of the most vulnerable in our communities. Thanks to the efforts of staff members Eugene Young, Shane McCann and Paul Callaghan, with the support of volunteers like Brian Armitage and Michael Geoghegan, the disability agenda plays an ever-increasing part in the strategic outputs of the GAA in the province. Our counties too are rising to the challenge and we look forward to our continued engagement with Disability Sport NI as we endeavour to increase the profile and range of activities that we provide for those with a disability.”
Presenting the award, Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive, Disability Sport NI said:
“I am delighted to present Ulster GAA with our Inclusive Sport Award. We have been working with the team there over the last couple of years to develop a detailed action plan that will actively target people with disabilities and improve inclusion in GAA sports. We look forward to continuing this work and implementing this new and exciting plan”
Ulster GAA is one of only ten sports governing bodies to have achieved the Inclusive Sport Award from Disability Sport NI.