The Clan na Gael club in Lurgan, Co. Armagh were proud to recently present their 3-year strategic plan to their members. The Club had initially started the extensive process in early 2020 when the executive came together.
Following on from this, it was agreed to facilitate a Club Planning Consultation workshop to allow members, parents, players, and community representatives the opportunity to air their views and encourage a wide range of input to the plan.
The workshop was facilitated by Ulster Club Planning Facilitator, Jimmy Magee, who was the assigned facilitator for the club as they went through the planning process. 120 people took part in what was a remarkably well supported and productive session. A key output from the workshop was the decision to establish five Focus Areas of Strategic Development, and then to assign suitably qualified volunteers to each area, from where the future visions and methodologies that the club wished to pen would be agreed.
The five Focus Areas that Clan na Gael chose to build their plan around were –
Ø Coaching & Games Development
Ø Finance & Fundraising
Ø Club Management, Governance & Administration
Ø Club & Facilities Development
Ø Culture, PR & Community Development
As with almost every area of society, the club plan was dealt a serious blow with the onset of the global pandemic. Work was paused until November 2020, and it is hoped that the implementation process can begin formally in the coming weeks and months.
The Plan Coordinator for Clan na Gael, Paul Kelly, who was heavily involved throughout the process believes it was very worthwhile exercise for both the Club and wider community.
“The finalisation of our 3 Year Club Development Plan was the culmination of a lot of collective effort over several months,” said Kelly.
“Unquestionably there was an immense degree of satisfaction that we had put together in a well laid out understandable format, the wishes and aspirations of our members, players coaches, parents etc.
“For our Club it gives us a very clearly defined focus covering several areas of club development opportunity and provides us with solid constructive platforms to increase and enhance our community structures.
“The most significant thing we learnt as a Club is that there were many very capable people within our club that could greatly contribute to successfully undertaking this extensive project. Like most things in life, it all appears rather daunting at the outset. However, with very worthwhile guidance from both Croke Park and in our case the Ulster Council, we were able to clearly understand what was expected and the best approach and template in how to deal with it.
“Our Club placed great trust in the process as outlined, sought internal leadership from within our general membership and most importantly allowed these people to focus on the project without distractions. We had around 120 attendees at our ‘information gathering evenings’ which clearly demonstrated the wishes of our members, players etc to express their opinion in how they best felt our Club could develop for the betterment of everyone.
“After gathering all the information on development opportunity from within 7 individual sectors of club activity, we were well placed to formulate this information into achievable targets within our 3-year stipulated timeframe.
“We are in the infancy of our Club Plan, literally Quarter 2 of Year 1. However, we have somewhere in the region of 40 action points to successfully implement by 30th June 2021. This would seem a serious amount of work, but the reality is different. A lot of action points are quick and simple to implement but, these provide the very foundation structure for lots of other action points to follow. In our opinion the single most important thing to ensure is in situ is the formation of ‘workgroups’ to cover each club development.
“The anticipated work over the next 3 years has already been agreed by our membership, our executive committee, etc. It is just a matter of getting on with it, accepting responsibility for the specific area you have agreed to work in, and, most importantly, getting satisfaction for all your work effort.
“Finally, remember any ‘Club Development Booklet’ is just a piece of paper. Whilst it might have excellent content, thought process and direction, it is just ‘theory’. It needs put into practice. Only then, can we say a job well done.”
Larry McCarthy, Uachtarán Cumann Luthchleas Gael, recently attended the virtual launch of the plan. He firmly believes that the Club Planning Process has sown seeds that the Club will reap the benefit of in years to come.
“I was delighted to attend the virtual launch of the Clan na Gael Club Strategic plan in late March,” said McCarthy. “The Club and indeed community of Lurgan have rallied around to create what is a superb piece of work which will shape their strategic planning over the course of the next 3 years. I have no doubt that the value of the contributions that have come from many sources over the course of this process will be seen soon. In these uncertain times, putting the correct structures and sub committees in place is of paramount importance and will help clubs succeed in reaching the ambitious goals they set for themselves.”
Fionntán O’Dowd, Ulster GAA Club & Community Development Officer commended the work put into this brilliant plan and passed on his congratulations to all.
“The particularly impressive thing about Clan na Gael’s plan is that even though a global pandemic caused a bit of disruption to them, they still had the perseverance and determination to put together and complete this brilliant document,” said O’Dowd.
“On behalf of the Club and County Planning Committee, we would like to pass on our congratulations to everyone at Clan na Gael and wish them every success in the future achieving the goals and objectives they have outlined.”
If you are interested in viewing the plan developed by Clan na Gael, please click here.