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Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper pictured at the GAA Super Games Centre National Blitz Day in partnership with Sky Sports.
Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper pictured at the GAA Super Games Centre National Blitz Day in partnership with Sky Sports.

Sky Sports enters the second year of its Grassroots partnership with the GAA


Newly crowned All Ireland Senior Football winner, Jonny Cooper and All Ireland Senior Hurling winning Captain, Declan Hannon, were at the National Games Development Centre at Abbotstown to attend the GAA Super Games Centres National Blitz Day 2018 in partnership with Sky Sports.

Both men were at today’s event as Sky Sports mentors to take part in a Q&A with 220 children from all over the country. It’ll be one of many chats with star players that Sky hopes to facilitate at GAA Super Games Centre’s around the country over the coming months and throughout the next five years.

This is the second year of a five year grassroots partnership which will see Sky Sports extend its support beyond the screen and invest €3million directly into GAA grassroots. As well as partnering with the GAA on the roll out of the GAA Super Games Centres countrywide, an initiative which encourages more young people aged 12-17 years to participate and stay involved in Gaelic Games, Sky Sports will also continue to support the GAA through its involvement with the annual GAA Youth Forum (this October) and The GAA Games Development Conference (January 2019).

Commenting on Sky’s partnership with the GAA across these grassroots initiatives, JD Buckley, Managing Director, Sky Ireland, said: “Our partnership with the GAA has gone from strength to strength and this past year we’ve rolled out training events in a number of counties including Galway, Cork, Monaghan, Mayo and Kilkenny. Our ultimate goal with the GAA Super Games Centres is to help the GAA increase the number of centres countrywide and reach over 10,000 children annually. We have enjoyed another wonderful season this year which saw 14 exclusive games air on Sky Sports and we look forward to working with the GAA across the Championship and at grassroots level for many years to come.”

Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, John Horan, said: “The GAA Super Games Centres are an innovative way of helping the GAA tackle the world phenomenon that is the fall-off of teenagers when it comes to participation in sport. Today’s blitz day will help showcase the best of this initiative and in featuring Jonny Cooper and Declan Hannon our young players will get to meet two of our best ambassadors.

“I would also like to acknowledge the assistance of our broadcast partners Sky Sports in supporting not only this important project, but also the GAA Youth Forum and the GAA Games Development Conference. Best wishes to all concerned."

The initiatives:

The GAA Super Games Centres in partnership with Sky Sports

The GAA Super Games Centres were established to reduce youth drop-out which is the biggest worldwide problem in this sector. Research conducted by the GAA and University of Sterling prove the veracity of the SGC approach and the importance of giving this age cohort responsibility for the organisation of their own affairs. Sky Sports will provide support to each GAA Super Games Centre in the form of kits and equipment. Regional visits with Sky Sports mentors will also be arranged throughout the year, with the aim to attract 2,000 new participants annually to the GAA Super Games Centres initiative with a primary objective to cater for 10,000 GAA Super Games Centre participants over a five-year period.

The #GAAyouth Forum in partnership with Sky Sports

The #GAAyouth Forum is a free annual event specifically for young GAA players – boys and girls – aged 12 to 21 years of age. It is designed for young players, by young players with the support of the GAA’s Youth Committee.

This year’s annual #GAAyouth Forum takes place in Croke Park, on Saturday 27thOctober. With some of the most experienced sports experts in its stable, Sky Sports will work with the GAA to provide well-known sports personalities to deliver expert advice and guidance to Ireland’s young GAA players on the day. Details will be announced in the coming weeks.

The application process is now open for all young players and there are 600 places available across three age-grades: 12 – 15 years; 16 – 18 years and 19 – 21 years.

www.gaa.ie/gaayouth

GAA Games Development Conference in partnership with Sky Sports

The GAA Games Development Conference in partnership with Sky Sports is the flagship event of the GAA’s Coach Education programme.

Running since 1997 with over 800 of the GAA’s leading grassroots coaches in attendance, this year’s conference will take place over two days in Croke Park on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th January, 2019.

At the event, attendees will hear from some of the most influential voices in GAA and further afield with keynote addresses as well as workshops & seminars for smaller groups.

Sky Sports will announce an elite sportsperson as keynote speaker in the coming months.

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