Heartbeat of the West
Published 22/04/2014 | 05:40
GAA is vitally important in rural Ireland. This is especially true for the young people, as there is not much for them to do, unlike a young person living in the city centre.
The GAA gives young people a goal, almost daily.
I am originally from Dublin city centre, now living in rural Co. Roscommon.
I enjoy playing Gaelic football at least four days a week, with my club and my county.
The GAA helps people develop many types of skills. It develops people's personality and natural skills which sometimes remain.
No matter how small a club is, the entire community will be involved when it comes to match day.
I am from a small club, I have witnessed how important our GAA club is, not just to the team, but to the whole community.
It engenders pride in one's locality and creates a sense of place and tradition for communities.
No GAA club or county would exist without the help and support of the people 'behind the scenes' like the parents, supporters and coaches.
Sligo isn't known for winning All Irelands, like Dublin or Cork, but that makes it all the better, when they do win that once-in-a-lifetime All Ireland Final.
By the look of the underage development squads throughout Connacht, there is definitely potential to win All Irelands within the next four years.
In the past, the GAA was better known for men playing the sport, but women have become more and more involved in the sport throughout the years, which is important.
GAA sports have been brought into schools both primary schools and secondary schools.
The majority of children get involved from a young age which gives the sport a bright future.
GAA helps children and teenagers to respect each other on and off the pitch.
The GAA teaches you to cope with a myriad of emotions; the happiness of winning, the disappointment of losing, the nerves before the throw in and most importantly the excitement and honour of being the best you possibly can.
Every club is treated like a family, and every member is proud of being part of their club.
The pride, determination and hard work is shown on the pitch from each and every person, no matter how small the club is.