On a very stormy night on Thursday the 11th of November 2010, in Loughgeorge, Co. Galway, the Graduation took place of the second cohort of GAA Hurling and Football Tutors for Connacht. These new GAA Coach Education Tutors were specially trained to deliver Coach Education Programmes on behalf of the GAA, including Foundation, Award 1 and the recently developed Award 2 GAA Course.
Almost a year ago, these twenty two new tutors first commenced their intensive Tutor Training Course on the 27th November 2009, in the Galway Gaelic Football Centre in Loughgeorge, Co. Galway. The final element of this Tutor Training Course consisted of a workshop on Disability, which was held on the 14th June 2010. The participants in this course comprised of 22 GAA tutors from Connacht, in Hurling and Football, representing all five counties in Connacht and were also accompanied by six participants from GAA Handball, a total of 28 in all.
In his address to the large group present for the graduation, the President of the Connacht Council, Mr Paddy Naughton, complimented all involved in completing this Tutor Training Course and obtaining their Tutor Certification, which he formally presented to each of the new Tutors on behalf of the Connacht Council.
In his speech he stated that:
“On behalf of Comhairle Chonnacht, I would like to welcome you all to Loughgeorge to night for the presentation of Certificates to our newly trained GAA tutors. We are all aware of the importance of having qualified coaches looking after our teams. I would like to emphasise to clubs that it is their duty to ensure that all personnel who are coaching teams, are qualified. We are very fortunate that to-night a further twenty two tutors are being presented with their certificates. This brings the total number in Connacht to forty two. Congratulations to all the tutors on reaching this high standard and I would to thank you all for the many hours that you spent training. Thank you also to our Chairman, Denis O’Boyle for his leadership and commitment in ensuring that coaching is of the highest standard. I also wish to thank the other members of the Coach Education Committee namely, Matt Gaffey, Martin Connolly, Sean Silke, Liam Óg Gormley, Willie Hegarty, Damien Coleman and Damien Curley, together with Adrian Hassett, Connacht Operations Manager and John Tobin, Connacht Games Manager.
A special thanks to Galway County Board for allowing us to use their facilities for the Tutor Training Course and also for to-nights presentations.”
Hayley Harrison from Coaching Ireland also addressed the new tutors graduating, with the following words;
“ Congratulations on behalf of Coaching Ireland and myself, it is a great achievement and one to be proud of. As a tutor you are now part of a family of tutors on the island of Ireland - quite a large family with over 1000 CDPI tutors in it representing every one of the 62 National Governing Bodies in this country from the largest (the GAA) to the smallest. As in all families there's a responsibility to look after each other and help each other out - and that's what we do, because we can't all be good at everything. I fundamentally and whole-heartedly believe in tutoring. We hold the future of the sport(s) we love in the palm of our hands - the better the tutor, the better the coach, the better the player and that's what we all want - you can make ALL the difference! Set your standards high (nobody chooses to be 'mediocre') and ensure you provide the support needed in order to achieve the set goals. Congratulations again, 'go and be brilliant' and 'welcome to the family of tutors’.”
The Connacht Coach Education Committee Chairperson, Denis O’ Boyle, was MC for this Graduation Ceremony. He congratulated all the new tutors and thanked them for their time, dedication and collaboration during the course. He paid a special tribute to John Tobin for his tremendous leadership, enthusiasm and ongoing commitment to the development of Coaching in Connacht. Adrian Hassett was also acknowledged for his wonderful organisational skills. On behalf of Connacht Coach Education Committee, Denis expressed his appreciation for the magnificant work undertaken by Connacht Secretary, John Prenty, the Connacht Council and their very capable staff, namely, Attracta Hunt and Amanda Diskin.
The County Boards and their Coaching and Games Committees were recognised for their tremendous work, as were the County Games Managers in Connacht, namely; Billy McNicholas, Liam Óg Gormley, Tom McManus, Thomas Keenan, Willy Hegarty and Damien Coleman.
Denis acknowledge the significant work of the following: Liam O’Neill, National Games Development Committee, John Landers, Chairperson of Coach Education Workgroup and fellow committee members, Pat Daly, Director of Games Development and Research, Jimmy D’Arcy, Games Development Manager and Peter Horgan, Education Officer. He expressed his gratitude to Michael McGeehan Director and Hayley Harrison, Coaching Ireland and Liam McGreevy, the Internal Verifier/Observer, from Co. Down.
Unfortunately, Barney Breen, Derek Kellegher and Mark Heslin, the new Tutors from Co Leitrim GAA, were prevented from travelling to Loughgeorge for their Graduation due to the gale force winds. However, it is intended that they will be formally presented with their Certificates in early January 2011.
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