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Dublin Report   20/08/2014

Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Ath Cliath Games Programme

Term 1 2013

The various elements of the gaelic games programme of Cumann na mBunscol Áth Cliath during first school term provided regular games for children, a support network for teachers and placed emphasis on the central role of the GAA in our Primary schools.

The games programme organised by Cumann na mBunscol Áth Cliath for Autumn 2013 got underway with Football on 10/09/13 and included

(i)  Internal leagues for Junior Cycle classes: A four-week programme of internal leagues, conducted by 240 Cumann na mBunscol teachers, provided the ideal introduction for the pupil and began on 11th September.

(ii) Go Games series for Middle Cycle classes: An eight-week Go Games programme began on Tuesday 10/09/13 with final round games fixed for 22/10/13. This series, underpinned by the philosophy of maximum participation, fun & skill development, catered for 107 schools organized in 17 non-competitive leagues. The last game in the series was marked by a visit to the local club facilities where the children were hosted by Club & Cumann na mBunscol officers and added a particularly pleasing dimension to the leagues.

(iii) Inter-school league games for Senior Cycle classes: 290 Cumann na mBunscol teachers committed to providing a games programme for senior cycle pupils. Round one of the series of weekly games began on Thursday 12/09/13. The 1160 games provided a balanced approach to competition with emphasis firmly on maximum participation & skill development.The hectic schedule of 64 finals over two days had a captive audience of players, pupils, parents, as well as teachers.

The games programme was supported by

A games equipment distribution service - of particular value in attracting new schools and servicing schools designated disadvantaged – formed the lynch-pin of the games programme;

The Football Fixtures Booklet – a comprehensive 72-page source of information – was invaluable and highly regarded by the schools;

Regular, sustained coverage in the media acknowledged the voluntary effort of Cumann na mBunscol teachers. The coverage, avidly followed by the children, parents and schools, enhanced the profile of gaelic games in the Capital;

Award schemes, through specific class-based work feeding into match finals programmes, offered further opportunities for increased participation by more teachers & children and was fully exploited by Cumann na mBunscol with prizes presented;

Allied to a group text service, our award-winning website provided an exhaustive service and enjoyed particular appeal among our young teachers;

A link with some Colleges of Education introduced student teachers to the workings of Cumann na mBunscol and encouraged, as well as catered for, their participation; A cohort of 66 students gained valuable experience in management & supervision of very large school groups while others gained much praise for their services as Match Officials.

The schedule of games for hurling & camogie to begin in Spring 2013 will be finalised in mid December with online team entry open till 06/12/13. The programme will be complemented by our ‘Follow the Dubs’ school-based project – comprising forecast-the-score cards, prizes of popular Dublin merchandise, full-colour promotion posters – now an acknowledged part of the programme and which fosters an ongoing interest in the Dublin Senior teams during the Allianz leagues.