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mun have fun as the future turns bright

BALLYMUN PRO, Cathal Roche, went for a Wednesday night walk. It took him to St Kevin's School.

On arrival, bright smiles cheered up the grey evening. The Kickhams Kids were at play.

It was the Gaelic4Girls programme. It targets girls between the ages of eight and 12 who are not playing club football.

It runs for twelve weeks. It teaches the young players the basics.

It helps to build confidence and social skills. It's conducted in a welcoming environment.

Encouragement and gentle guidance are the tools of the day.


"The Gaelic4Girls initiative was launched a few weeks back, so we decided to drop into one of the sessions to see how things were going," explains Cathal.

"To say that we were impressed is an understatement. The girls were having a blast.

"This, of course, is due to the coaching provided. It was all happening under the watchful eye of our Games Promotion Officer and excellent coach, Shane Treanor.

"Shane has overseen this initiative and deserves great kudos for the task completed.

"He hand-picked his coaches for the project, and in Gerry Staunton he has one of the most dedicated and experienced coaches around.

"Gerry is a man that has committed so much of his spare time to helping the club in one guise or another

"Gerry credits the Gaelic4Girls programme with so far bringing 30 new players into the club. And also, of course, to the world of Gaelic football.

"It is clear how much enjoyment the girls are getting from the project. Our ladies section will benefit hugely from this."

Dublin's Davy Byrne is also involved. He captained Ballymun to Dublin and Leinster glory.

A thriving under age department paved the way. The juvenile sector got a complete re-build. Not just a lick of red and green paint.

Declan Small and his colleagues put a plan in place, and the renaissance began to flourish.

Declan is the club chairman, and he's now delighted to see a new dawn for Ladies football.

Davy is a central figure in Mun's Championship and League ambitions, and he's a role model in the community.

He has a big Fan Club, as Cathal explains: "He has such a nice way of imparting his knowledge to the children.

"He visits the primary schools and it's lovely to sit back and watch him address the pupils. They hang on his every word.

"To say that he knows a thing or do about Gaelic football would be an understatement of biblical proportions.

"And what he brings to the coaching table can never be over-estimated."

Cathal adds that the Gaelic4Girls model has been a big hit.

"It has been an outstanding, unmitigated success. And that is in no way over playing it.

"And there are no mean skills on display. Have we unearthed the next Denise Masterson? Only time will tell. But the signs are encouraging.

"And not only have we attracted some terrific new recruits, we have also re-affirmed the brilliance already within the coaching personnel in the club.

"This has been a tremendous initiative, and it's one which we will strive to continue.

"It will certainly help our burgeoning Ladies section to keep going in the right direction."