The GAA and the Ombudsman for Children’s Office today launched a collaborative Rights Awareness Resource at Croke Park.
The collaboration was undertaken to mark the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and to raise awareness and understanding of children’s rights through Gaelic Games.
The Rights Awareness Resource which is the result of a year-long process undertaken by GAA Games Development & Research, its sister Associations, the Ladies Football and Camogie Associations and the Ombudsman for Children’s Office, highlights the central role the Rights of the Child plays in the creation and delivery of GAA initiatives such as Go Games, Super Games, Fun and Run and the GAA Youth Forum.
The Games Development & Research Department set in train a process of mapping its initiatives to four specific Rights of the Child (Articles 2, 12, 29 and 31) which have been captured and outlined in detail in the resource.
The resource also affords coaches, teachers, volunteers and parents the opportunity to hear from children and young people who are involved in Gaelic games on how each of the programmes gives practical expression to the four specific Rights of the Child.
GAA President John Horan said: “The process and work that has been undertaken has allowed us to identify that children and young people are at the core of everything we do and provide in a Games Development context.
“We are pleased to partner with the Ombudsman for Children on this initiative and believe it will be for the betterment of the Association and of course our children.”
The GAA President was joined at GAA Headquarters by Dr Niall Muldoon, Ombudsman for Children launched the Rights Awareness Resource at GAA Headquarters.
He added: “As Ombudsman for Children, one of my objectives has been to ensure that children and young people are actively heard and respected so they experience safe, fulfilling and happy everyday lives.
“For many, involvement in sport forms a key part of their everyday lives and so we were delighted to work with the GAA, along with the Ladies Football and Camogie Associations to create this resource.
“This is the first time the Ombudsman for Children’s Office has collaborated with a sporting organisation to promote children’s rights. Parents, coaches and volunteers interacting with young people have an opportunity to promote rights every day, and this is what we are trying to achieve with this resource.
“This resource is a tool that was created to highlight the ways in which the GAA already works to uphold children's rights, but also to promote greater awareness. We very much enjoyed coming together with the GAA on this project and are particularly pleased that the voices of children are included.”
Ladies Football President Marie Hickey commented: “This is a hugely significant development and one which should be welcomed across the board. Year on year, I witness magnificent performances on the field of play by our young children, many of whom go on to become senior stars in our game. In that regard, and in a much wider context, young children are at the very heart of our Association.”
The resource intends to help raise awareness around the Rights of the Child with GAA coaches, teachers and parents, and all of those who work and volunteer with children and young people in Gaelic Games across all levels of the Associations.
Kathleen Woods, President of the Camogie Association, said: “We welcome the launch of this important resource which re-affirms the central role which children play within our Associations. This resource will provide a real and practical benefit to all volunteers to help assure the safety and enjoyment of children within our games at all times.”
The Rights Awareness Resource is available to download from www.learning.gaa.ie/ChildrensRightsAwareness