Hurling Initiative – This year in Leitrim, Cumann na mBunscol Liatroma, in conjunction with Leitrim GAA Coaching and Games Committee decided to run a hurling initiative due to the poor number of schools registering interest in hurling competitions (3 schools out of 38).  Our determination is to make hurling as accessible as possible to all primary school pupils.

The Plan – We met with National Hurling Development Manager Martin Fogarty, Connacht Hurling Development Officer Damien Coleman, Hurling Coach Michael Carroll and Leitrim Games Development Manager Thomas Keenan and explored possible issues and devised a plan. We liaised with our Games Development Manager Thomas Keenan to buy equipment (200 helmets, 200 hurls, and 200 sliotars) and we made up six packs each containing 30 of each. Each pack also contains the Hurling Fun-Do information pack which contains fun, easy-to-do skills and drills.

In this regard, we would like to acknowledge the subsidising of the equipment by Leitrim GAA to reduce the investment cost to Cumann na mBunscoil Liatroma.

We would like to thank the above people for the input and advice that they have given us to bring this initiative to a reality. We look forward to the schools of the county getting involved and we are hopeful that with the encouragement and help of the Coaching and Games Development and buy-in from our schools and teachers that current primary school pupils of all ages will enjoy an experience that will foster an interest in the camán and sliotar.

These kits will be delivered to six schools at a time for six-week “Sessions”. During this six-week session, a hurling coach will visit the teachers in the school to help them devise a six-week programme. This is designed to help make the school self-sufficient and not entirely reliant on hurling coaches. We believe that everyone can be a hurling coach. After the six-week session is over, all six schools will come together and have a blitz, giving the children a chance to use their newly-learned skills with other children who are at the same level as themselves in a fun, non-competitive way. Schools do not pay to borrow these kits for the sessions but have the option to buy the sets after the six weeks should they choose to do so. This offers them a free trial before they commit to buying the expensive gear.

We are currently piloting the scheme in six schools with a full rollout in January. There will be three sessions between Jan – June 2018 and with five sessions planned for the 2018-19 school year and the target is to have every school in the county trying hurling for six weeks for free. More info is available and Leitrim schools can register their interest at [email protected] or follow us @cnmbleitrim on Twitter.

Our photographs feature pupils from Scoil Mhuire NS, Bornacoola, St Brigid’s NS, Drumcong, Aughnasheelin NS, Drumkeerin NS and St Joseph’s NS, Aughavas, making excellent use of the equipment.

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