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Mandatory Coaching Standards for 2016 announced at Liberty Insurance GAA Games Development Conference
At the Liberty Insurance GAA Games Development Conference in Croke Park the GAA announced the introduction of mandatory coaching standards for Club and Inter-County Coaches from 2016. The policy, approved by GAA Central Council last June on the back of a recommendation from the Football Review Committee and a proposal from the National Games Development Committee, will require all Inter-County management teams in both hurling and football to contain an Award 2 coach from 2016. All Club management teams must contain an Award 1 Coach. From 2018 the Head Coach in both cases must be qualified at the appropriate level.  
With over 75,000 coaches qualified through the joint GAA-Coaching Ireland certified Coach Education Programme since its inception in 1992 the GAA has been to the forefront of Coach Education in Ireland and is currently revamping the programme to broaden access to information via online modules (, Communities of Practice and Mentoring, as well increasing the practical element of its traditional course programme delivered through 100s of voluntary Tutors nationwide.
The Association will also introduce an ‘Assimilation’ programme for experienced coaches without qualifications which will ensure that coaches who have the requisite skills are recognised for those skills and certified at the appropriate level.
Also launched at the conference today was a series of High Definition Coaching Videos to support the implementation of the Gaelic 15 – Injury Prevention Programme devised under the auspices of the Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee. The videos which feature Kerry selector and trainer Cian O’Neill, demonstrate how the programme can be implemented in a sports specific manner and were published to the GAA’s Learning & Development Portal at The videos were produced in association with SportsClinicPlus, (, a Kerry-based technology company which specialises in online solutions to educate players, athletes and coaches in evidence based injury prevention and rehabilitation.  
Ger Ryan, Chairman of the Association’s Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee enthused about the production of the exercise warm-up videos for the intervention and acknowledged the work of the Games Development Committee and SportsClinicPlus in this regard.  He said that the exercise technology used by SportsClinicPlus aims to keep more players injury-free and to reduce the cost and length of recovery.  He also acknowledged the work of John C. Murphy, Dr. Catherine Blake and the expert working group in devising the intervention before concluding that the videos now enable coaches to deliver effective evidence –based exercise pre-habilitation with their players.’
Aoife Ni Mhuiri, Chartered Physiotherapist and CEO of SportsClinicPlus, and a member of the Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee, said:
“The Gaelic 15 videos enable coaches to demonstrate specific warm-up exercise routines to their players that are engaging, relevant to Gaelic Games and at the cutting-edge in injury-prevention.   Players can then access these exercises at home via the website or app, ensuring they are following best-practice warm-ups as recommended by their Club Coach and Physio.”
The theme of this year’s Conference was ‘Inspiring Children: Fostering a Love of Gaelic Games’ and focused on supporting the Child Coach. Over 700 delegates were exposed to presentations from a variety of speakers including former Cork and Limerick Manager John Allen, former GAA National Hurling Coordinator Paudie Butler, Joe Brolly, Sligo Games development Manager Liam Óg Gormley and Cameron Bruce, assistant coach with AFL Club Hawthorn, who spoke on child development initiatives in the AFL.
The Conference was preceded on Friday night by a GAA Research Forum which gave delegates the opportunity to view presentations on a range of research that can be applied to Gaelic Games. There was also a presentation of 14 new Coach Education Tutors, including Dublin hurler, David ‘Dotsy’ O’Callaghan. 
Chairman of the GAA’s Games Development Committee Micheal Martin expressed his delight at the Conference atmosphere stating:
‘We are delighted to be in the 12th year of the current cycle of GAA Games Development Conference’s and have passed our 8,000 delegate this year. Each year delegates bring a level of enthusiasm and good will to the event that reflects a thirst for knowledge and progress and I would like to thank all those who attended today for again making the atmosphere a joy to be apart of. As an Association we hope that this event showcases the vast knowledge and expertise that is available. We are also in the process of conducting a comprehensive update of our Coach Education Programme and how we support coaches which now incorporates direct communication to Coaches via our E-Learning Platform at, our GAA Learning Youtube Channel and our GAA Learning Twitter account @GAAlearning.’
Gaelic 15 Acknowledgements
• GAA 15 working group of Dr. Pat O’Neill, Prof. Niall Moyna, Dr. Pat Duggan, Dr. Kieran Moran, John C. Murphy, Dr. Catherine Blake.
• Sports Clinic Plus for production of the videos.Dr Cian O’Neill
For more information contact Alan Milton GAA Head of Media Relations on 018363222

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