GAA's Hurling Action Plan 2015-2018 Launched 2015-12-02 09:42:00

The Hurling Development Committee’s Action Plan 2015-2018 was launched on Tuesday with the aim of increasing the number of games at some levels by as much as 500 per cent.

The plan, which covers the years 2016 to 2018, has four key pillars: 

Games Opportunities

Applied Lifelong Learning

Organisational Effectiveness and Innovation

Promotional Profile

One of the key proposals is to restructure the All-Ireland Minor B and C Championships and the introduction of a nationwide Under-17 competition, the Celtic Challenge, to boost games at that level by 500 per cent and double participating team and player numbers.

The Celtic Challenge will ensure that each team has at least six pre-scheduled games across seven weeks, using newly developed facilities including the GAA’s new pitches at the National Sports Campus in Dublin’s Abbotstown.

“We're fairly clear about the numbers we want. We want to increase the numbers. We're very clear about the processes,” said Croke Park’s Director of Games, Pat Daly at the plan’s launch.

“There's no point in talking about numbers and having the B and C competitions we currently have because there's no future there.

“Kids don't want to play in those kind of competitions, they have to be properly promoted, there has to be a big social media programme around it. It doesn't necessarily matter what division you're playing in as long as they're properly promoted.

“What we're talking about doing is having good competitive outlets, ensuring they're properly promoted and that they're meaningful and that there's a desire among the young lads to play them.

“We're finding at U21 that there are problems and is that surprising on the back of what we have at minor and the number of games that are played at minor?It's not really.

“So I think there's a degree of realism about this. We're talking about a competition with all 32 counties for the first time ever, we're talking about a programme of games, who, when and where.

“We're talking about training sessions, a balanced ratio of training sessions and then we're talking about finals at different levels that are properly promoted and played either in Croke Park or at Abbotstown.

“I think that's a watershed development by any stretch of the imagination. If you took that model and said, 'Could we replicate that across the board?' I think you'd make significant progress.”

Under Innovation, the GAA will look further into the use of synthetic and hybrid synthetic-wood hurleys as ash die-back disease continues to affect the supply of ash coming from across Europe.

Another new development would be the standardisation of sliotars across the board. There is a proposal to insert a chip inside every approved ball that could be verified by simply scanning it with a smartphone.

The action plan is to cover the year’s 2016-2018, which each phase broken into planning, implementation and review stages.

Peter Sweeney GAA Daily News









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