Foundations

Gaelic primary school laying the foundations for future success

Laying the foundations for the future of Gaelic in the city is a key element in the success of the Primary School Cup competitions which continue at Celtic Park this weekend.

Sean Dolan, Doire Trasna, Doire Colmcille and Steelstown Brian Ogs have all held events over the past few weeks, with boys and girls across the city returning to competitive yet fun and friendly games after an enforced two-year break.

The Primary Schools Cup competition has grown from a handful of schools to nearly 30 schools in just a few years, with the growing links between schools and clubs generating an interest and enthusiasm for the sport that had never before been seen before.

It continues this weekend with the winners of every club meeting at Celtic Park. According to Dolan’s trainer Brian O’Donnell, it’s all about hard work behind the scenes and having fun.

“It’s very important because it’s the promotion of the game and the promotion of the clubs and it’s important that the clubs have a link with the schools because that’s how we’re going to grow the game,” he said. he explains.

“There has been good work over the last ten years, and even beyond. It’s easier these days to promote it thanks to social media, which allows you to show the good work that is being done in real time.

The availability of more modern facilities for clubs has also been a boost, with huge progress made in this regard in the last few years alone.

“The new facility at Dolan’s is very important and it will be great, not just for us, but all clubs will benefit from it,” continued Brian. “There will be indoor blitzes and school blitzes and games during the winter. It will be a great hub for Sean Dolan, but it will also be a great hub for everyone to play games against other teams in town.

“Each having their own facilities is fine, but you have nothing without the children. The clubs grow and if you work hard you reap the benefits. You need the schools, and you also need everything the world.

The future

It’s about building for the future, and developing a love for the game at primary school age will hopefully lay the foundation for boys and girls to play at a higher level during their teenage years. and beyond.

“It’s now about how we raise the standards – that is putting more work into schools, more kids going to clubs and clubs helping those wains play to a higher level” , Brian said.

“The issue for us is how do we maintain it and improve the standard in secondary school because I think that’s where the gap is in the county. We’ll probably compete well until 12, 13 , 14, but then the gap widens, so that’s the problem for me – how can we improve high school football.

“The talent is there. Derry going to an Ulster final, and maybe winning and maybe a few outings to Croke Park, things like that will make our lives easier. A bit of success in the county will raise the city’s profile. It’s about stimulating talent in the city. We’re looking at the bigger picture here. We want to see more people playing in those school competitions and then playing for Derry Minors or Derry Seniors further down the road. That’s the whole story. We have this ambition for everyone.

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