(Oldest Posts First)
However I have read, watched and listened to the constant stream of attention on Dulwich Harps promotion of Gaelic Games and their efforts in bringing children from non-Irish background into the sport. This is truly wonderful. But my question is, is this really an accurate reflection of underage GAA in London, or is it simply a campaign used to further the interests of a small minority. It is interesting:
- Dulwich have won numerous championships between under 12 and under 16 over the past 10 years, yet have never once fielded an under 18 or under 21 team during this time
- The majority of the players come from the same school and as such the coaches/teachers, have extra time with the players/students. The ordinary volunteer coaches simply do not have that.
- The facilities of an academy school are beyond the wildest dream of the clubs here in London, and with gaelic games on the curriculum, the resources simply dwarf those of other clubs.
- Over the period, Dulwich have not produced one player who has competed for London at U18/U21, Junior or Senior. If the drain stops at a certain level, then one needs to ask the question what is the point of putting in so much effort for such a short sighted gain?
- This leads me to think that once the players/students reach a post-school age of 16, their interest in our sport simply comes to an end. If this is the case, then this is a shame. For instance would Dulwich be able to field a team in the forthcoming home grown adult championship that is due to take place later in the year? I suspect not.
Perhaps this might read as resentment or even jealously, but my intention behind this is very much not, nor do I want to put the boot in - I only want to start healthy debate and shed light on the wonderful effort of the true picture of underage games here in London which I feel is slightly more accurate. When I see the likes of TCG (albeit with good facilities), Kierans, Heston, Round Towers, etc produce players worthy of competing at senior standard and representing their county with little to no infrastructure and resources behind their coaches, I stand and applaud them. Surely this is a more representative outlook on underage games here in our county and one that deserves far more attention and praise rather than an effort which is driven for a short period of time.
bigball1 (Tipperary) - Posts: 2 - 18/07/2014 11:40:58 1621014Link 0
Bigball a very interesting post and yes it could be seen as someone having a slight dig at Dulwich but I don't think you are…. The objective of any underage team/set up has to be to try and develop kids to play the game in the future at an adult level. Now I'm not stupid enough to think that all kids will reach these levels or in deed want to play but if a few come through each year you are doing your job as a coach IMO.
Mancirish (UK) - Posts: 2190 - 18/07/2014 15:45:46 1621204Link 0
Bigball and Mancirish I'm also glad that you've brought this up. It is difficult to get the interest of young lads especially with the lure of other sports. And despite having a better structures in place compared to 15 or 20 years ago it is still difficult for clubs to keep the underage going without the sheer determination of a few good people in each club.
fancyaride (Mayo) - Posts: 141 - 18/07/2014 17:49:30 1621257Link 0