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Cork got preperations with their Coillte Under14 Development Squad under way this week when thirty young camogie players gathered at C I T grounds for what is the first of five coaching sessions under the scheme. This year the Coillte sponsored squads  come from Armagh, Cork, Donegal, Kilkenny, Kildare, Limerick, Mayo and Wicklow and the initiative is part of the strategic plan for Camogie and it’s  aim is to improve the skill level and enjoyment of the game at Under14 level in the selected counties.

The programme is supported by the Irish Sports Council and the counties will participate in coaching sessions and blitz competitions between now and October focusing on the skills of Camogie. Coillte the forestry and forest products company began their involvement with the initiative in 2004 and since then it has growns in stature and has gone from strength to strength.

Joan O’Flynn President of the Camogie Association has huge praise for the venture,

 “”The partnership between the Camogie Association and Coillte is a significant contribution to growing our sport, encouraging young players to continuously improve their Camogie skills will ensure that they enjoy our national game and continue playing it into adulthood.

The partnership also supports the development of Camogie coaches in eight counties in 2009 and It is really important that young players are encouraged to develop and improve their skills rather than win at all costs. The ethos of the Coillte Development Squads initiative is one of fun and skills learning. The support of Coillte is highly valued and appreciated by all in Camogie and we are delighted with their ongoing association for our sport.””

In getting the venture under way Cork have implament a procedure where only one players from  each club participate in the squad thus giving thirty clubs representation on the panel this way spreading the represenatation. Cork are fortunate  to have three very experienced current and former Inter county players heading up their coaching team, Miriam Deasy who captained the Cork intermediate side to All Irealand glory and is the holder of All Ilreand medals at under age and adult level to senior.

She is joined by Nora Ahern who captained Cork to Junior National league honours and is the holder of All Ireland senior and Juniro medals while Marion Jagoe is a current member of the county Intermediate side  and is also the holder of All Ireland honours  Miriam Deasy who last week guided the fortunes of her club Kilbrittans under 12 team  to league honours is no stranger to coaching, hugely experienced in all aspects of sport Miriam is sports officer at C I T and has helped coach teams both in camogie and hurling at C I T and Kilbrittan and she is looking forward to the task which lies ahead.

 “”It is a huge honour for Nora, Marion and myself that the county board  have the confidence in us to guide the fortunes of the Coillte Development squad, it’s a great initiave and one which I am sure will be of huge benefit to the young camogie player from  not alone Cork but the other counties which were chosen to be part of the scheme this season. At the very outset it’s all about teaching the girls the skills of the game and giving them a sense of enjoyment we have made it very clear that we want them to enjoy every minute of this and while we will be hoping that the girls do well our task is to ensure they come away having learned something.

“”The whole emphasis   is totally on enjoyment and hopefully helping to put them on the right road  where they will continue to improve and expand their skill level if we can help lay the foundations for this we will have achieved something very important.””

County chairperson Marion Mc Carthy was on hand at C I T on Thursday evening as the first session got under way and she has huge praise for the initiave,

“”We are delighted that Cork were chosen as one of the counties to participate in this years programme, I have no doubt that the coaches we have on board are amongst the best in the country and that they will impart some of their vast experience and knowledge to our young camogie players her in Cork during the coaching sessions and blitz competitions which will take place between now and October. The focusing of the programme is on the skills of Camogie and will be of huge benefit to the thirty players who are taking part. Coillte are to be congratulated on their continued sponsorship of our games future and I congratulate the thirty young participants and their coaches and wish them well in the months ahead. “”

Getting the first session under way on Thursday last the squad will be put through their paces on Tuesday and Thursday for the next two weeks, on July 4th C I T will be the venue as  the youngsters  participate in a blitz day and here they s will have a chance to showcase the skills they have learned. October will be a red letter month for the squads from the eight counties when they travel to Croke Park for a games day which will be held during the mid term break.

For now it all systems go and we wish the Cork squad and their coaches the best of luck with what promised to be a hugely successful venture for Camogie in the county.              


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