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The advantages of Gaelic4Mothers & Others

THE Lidl Gaelic4Mothers & Others initiative is an innovative way to introduce mothers and other women to playing Ladies Gaelic football.

Mothers often drop their kids to training and call back to collect them, but the Ladies Gaelic Football Association wants to change that.

The Lidl Gaelic4Mothers & Others initiative sees women playing Ladies Gaelic football in a fun, non-competitive and social environment. Lidl Gaelic4Mothers & Others provides an opportunity for women to get their recommended weekly exercise in a fun way while meeting other mothers in the area.

The initiative, which has been growing across Ireland since its inception in 2008, is giving women the opportunity to get out and meet others in their area while at the same time getting fit by learning the skills of the game in a fun environment.

Being a mum is not a necessity, but participants must be over 18 years of age and must not be playing competitively with a club team. Blitzes are organised at an Ulster and national level to let the women try out their newly-acquired skills against other teams, but the emphasis is on taking part and having fun rather than winning; so much so that scores aren’t kept and the social skills on show long after full time are just as important!

Originally set up as a six-week programme, most of the clubs who get it up and running find that the women are enjoying it so much that they don’t want it to stop after six weeks. Not only are they having a great time, improving their fitness and social well-being, but they also feel more part of the club and get involved in the club’s activities and events.

As volunteer recruitment is something all clubs strive to improve on, the Gaelic4Mothers & Others programme provides a great stepping stone to helping clubs in this area. Because the participants have already learned the skills of the game through playing, many feel ready to help out with the youth teams in their clubs. This is where the Ladies Gaelic ‘Ready Steady Coach’ programme comes in.

‘Ready Steady Coach’ is a volunteer recruitment programme from the Ladies Gaelic Football Association which aims to provide support and assistance to new volunteers interested in helping with coaching or running a team within the club. Many who complete it and get a bit of experience under their belt then go on to complete their full coaching certificates.

So what starts off as a bit of craic for the women of the area has the knock on effect of clubs gaining more members, supporters and helpers – surely something that all clubs want!

The Ulster blitz was cancelled in June 2020 due to the pandemic, and as we write this piece, we are still unsure whether we will be permitted to host the Ulster blitz this year.

Everything depends on government guidelines and what the joint Covid-19 Committee (GAA, LGFA, Camogie) decide upon when our games eventually restart.

Please keep an eye on social media for any new relevant new regarding Gaelic 4 Mothers & Others activity in Ulster.

The great thing is that the programme is so easy to set up. All clubs need to do is to contact Ciaran Murtagh, Ladies Football Development Officer for Ulster GAA on ciaran.murtagh.ulster@gaa.ie who will give you out guidelines on how to get going.

What are you waiting for – get involved and see your GAA family grow!

Please note clubs are only permitted to commence G4M&O activity once you are a registered site for the year.

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