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GAA stars Jackie Tyrell, Steven O’Brien, Ali Maguire and Carla Rowe were in Croke Park to launch the 2016 Liberty Insurance GAA National Games Development Conference, which will take place in Croke Park on January 22nd and 23rd.
The theme is “The Coach, The Game, The Player: Building Connections” and aims to address issues related to adult players that are of most concern and interest to members of the GAA community.
Run as a partnership between all of the Gaelic Games Associations, the Conference will offer the 750 delegates attending an opportunity to access talks relating to key coaching issues in hurling/camogie, Gaelic football/Ladies Gaelic football, Handball and Rounders which are specifically related to the adult player.
The impressive line-up of speakers will feature coaches from the world of Gaelic Games, players, teachers, coaches and international speakers, including speakers from all Gaelic games backgrounds.
A key feature of this years’ event is the contribution from players, with All-Ireland winning captains Bryan Cullen (Dublin, 2011), Fionn Fitzgerald (Kerry, 2014), five-time World Handball Champion, Paul Brady and multiple All-Ireland winning camogie and ladies Gaelic footballer Rena Buckley (16 senior All-Ireland titles) who will present across a range of topics.
Former Tipperary Manager Eamonn O’Shea, former Ireland International Rules Manager Paul Earley and leading sports scientist Dr Liam Hennessy provide some of the highlights of the conference.
In an innovative opening night, Friday, January 22nd will feature a 'Play to Stay' forum that will investigate many of the issues related to ensuring that players are provided with an adequate programme of games, appropriate to their needs and abilities. Speakers will  
present on a number of initiatives that have been developed to complement the formal games programme.
For the third year, Liberty Insurance – the official coaching partner of the GAA – sponsor the event.
A special workshop presented by Dr Sharon Madigan and former Dublin All-Ireland winning captain, Bryan Cullen on sports nutrition has also been developed by the National Dairy Council.
Launching the Conference, Uachtarán CLG, Aogán Ó Fearghail said:
“The Liberty Insurance GAA Games Development Conference is one of our flagship events throughout the year. It has developed a very loyal following amongst coaches across the Association and is a must attend event for anyone with an interest in how we promote our activities and the ongoing development of our players. In the Irish sporting sphere this event is unrivalled; the range of speakers attending this year underlines the standard we have to come to expect from it year in, year out.
There has been much discussion and debate in recent weeks regarding our structures and games programmes at adult level. Páraic Duffy’s report on Player Overtraining and Burnout, and the GAA Fixtures Calendar and the proposals regarding the championship structures have contributed greatly to this debate. I am also pleased to see the issue of the games programme for our younger players through the ‘Play to Stay Summit’. I know that there are a number of innovative proposals that will be debated during this session. I have been very heartened by the level of engagement in the debate and look forward to providing appropriate structures for our players, coaches and administrators.”
Speaking at the launch, John Coffey of Liberty Insurance said: 
“As Official Partner of the GAA Coaching Programme, we understand the importance of the promotion and development of coaching initiatives, and are looking forward to another exciting conference in January".
Reflecting the partnership approach in the organisation of this year’s Conference, Liam de Róiste (President, GAA Handball), Pat Daly (Director of Games Development and Research, GAA) and Joe O’Donoghue (President, Rounders Association) were also in attendance.
The cost of attending is €60 and further information on registering to attend the Conference can be obtained by phone at 01-8658625, by emailing or at
Photography from the event can be found on
Tá tuilleadh eolais ag Alan MacMaoldúin, Ceannaire Cumarsáide CLG, 018363222
For more information contact Alan Milton, GAA Head of Communications, 018363222

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