ULSTER GAA has continued to engage in various Disability and Inclusion programmes throughout the province.
The Ulster Wheelchair Sports Team trained regularly at the Mid Ulster Sports Arena as this was a central venue considering the geographical spread of the players. The National Wheelchair Hurling League Competition recommenced this year after a two year break due to Covid.
The squad participated in tournaments in Omagh, Limerick, Meath and Sligo. In October the players competed in the All-Ireland Championship in Dublin where they came runners up to a very strong Munster Team. Wheelchair Gaelic Football has become very popular and will be promoted throughout the year and hopefully it will soon become part of the national programme.
Ulster GAA’s HERO Programme is a novel inclusion initiative that clubs can use to nominate individuals in their community. This project will offer clubs the chance to choose someone with a learning or physical disability in their club or community to become a HERO.
The programme will assist clubs in promoting inclusion in their communities by offering people with a disability an opportunity for them to participate in their local club in a variety of ways.
Club H.E.R.O. Programme – Suggested Activities
Assist with team training
Distribute and collect equipment
Help with statistics/attendance
Vocally support your team at matches
Motivate the team at training
·Help umpire at underage games
·Keep the score
Support club activities
Help with lotto/fundraisers
Assist on committees
Participants receive an Ulster GAA H.E.R.O. merchandise pack and certificate.
Ulster GAA continues to engage with players with a learning difficulty. Coaching is delivered within the special schools and the community groups. There are training and playing opportunities within counties in preparation for games at half-time during the regular championship season. There are now regular participation opportunities for teams to attend ‘GAA for ALL’ days in Croke Park to play against other clubs and counties. There will also be regional football blitzes for players with learning disabilities throughout the year.
Educating the players, coaches, parents and teachers continues to be an integral part of the inclusion programme. Throughout the year, staff regularly deliver the ‘GAA for ALL Disability & Inclusion workshop’ to provide examples of guidelines and best practice to the participants. They have also delivered some specific Autism Workshops in conjunction with AutismNI as this is one of the main disabilities that occurs commonly in a club setting. Staff also have the capacity to deliver Wheelchair GAA Sports taster session in clubs, schools and community groups that want to incorporate someone with additional physical needs into their sessions.
Before Christmas, Ulster GAA held a 6-week wheelchair training hub in Spórtlann, Belfast. This was an adult & children session each night to attract new players from the city & region to play our games.
This month Ulster GAA will be delivering an Introductory Course for Gaelic Games Coaching Award for coaches who have a physical disability.
This course will enable participants with additional physical needs the opportunity to begin coaching in their clubs. This is the GAA mainstream coaching qualification with Ulster Staff adapting and modifying coaching methods so the candidate can obtain the coaching competence.
Over the last few years, Ulster GAA have moved to ensure that their games are adapted and suitable for people with various abilities and will continue to work with partners, athletes and stakeholders to ensure a safe and inclusive sporting environment.
For further information regarding any of the programmes, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org