Friday 9 December 2016

Colm O'Rourke: Taking the game to a higher level

Stronger links between clubs and schools can help the GAA to thrive, writes Colm O'Rourke

Published 21/11/2010 | 05:00

T HE issues surrounding Gaelic football in schools reflect the entire debate about sport in general and what role it plays in society.

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There is a view that Ireland is a sports-mad nation, at least in the percentage who are involved in some type of sporting activity. We all watch plenty of sports and most people are interested in a wide variety of sports, whereas in other countries there appears to be a clear demarcation between sporting interests.

Our games have traditionally been run by amateur bodies, at least until recently, but despite the obvious health benefits there is nothing like the same structures put in place to promote sport and sporting participation as in Australia for example. Even when finance was available, the money spent from central level was not what it should have been. Sports organisations like the GAA did benefit, but self-help is still the norm.

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