Sports

Too many youth hurling games missed says county secretary

Thursday, 5 January 2017

TOO many clubs are entering teams in under-age hurling competitions, and then failing to fulfil their fixtures, according to Tyrone county secretary Dominic McCaughey.
During 2016, a number of clubs entered competitions, but later withdrew, creating disruption and disappointment for the remaining participants and for competition organisers.
“As there are only a small number of hurling clubs to begin with, it is very disappointing, and quite frustrating, for the CCC to draft a set of fixtures from which teams then withdraw and regrettably, this happened too often this year," said McCaughey.
“At U14 level, five teams were entered and drawn in this competition but two clubs withdrew, with the result that one team arrived in the final without playing any games and only one semi-final took place.
“In the minor championship, again, five clubs entered the competition but one withdrew with the result that one quarter-final, one semi-final and the final were played.
“At U16 level all five clubs participated in one quarter-final, two semi-finals and a final, but here, a gap of almost three months between the semi-finals and the final was a cause of concern.
“A similar picture was evident in both the adult and youth leagues - as was the case last year."
The youth leagues and championships were all completed in 2016 with Eoghan Ruadh emerging as U14, U16 and Minor championship winners.
Meanwhile, a development programme for hurling in the county has been attracting large numbers of young players to the game.
Hurling Development Committee chairman Peter Kerr has compiled a detailed report on the new developments.
A six week Camán Tír Eoghain programme began in MUSA in Cookstown on 3rd February with over ninety P4-P7 children taking part each Wednesday night.
All five clubs in the Holy Trinity College catchment area, namely Cookstown, Kildress, Rock, Ardboe and Moortown were represented.
The coaching was carried out voluntarily by club coaches from various hurling and
camogie clubs and overseen by schools coaches, Aidan Kelly and Ruairi Convery.
A similar six week programme in St. Ciaran's College, Ballygawley commenced on Monday 22nd February with over one hundred children registering. All registered children received a hurling stick and sliotar.
Parents were identified in both areas and when these six week programmes were concluded there was enough support on the ground to ensure that the momentum was not lost and the hurling and camogie continued right through to the end of June.
The Camán Tír Eoghain programme was extended to take in two areas which expressed an interest in taking part in it.
Drumragh Sarsfields received coaching with over 40 children registering. Likewise a group of over 30 children registering for the programme in Benburb.
As a way of concluding the programme for the summer holidays, all groups were taken on a day trip to the Leinster Hurling Final on 3rd July.
A 'Hurl with Me' coaching programme for parents was also made available to parents at Garvaghey on Saturday the 4th and Saturday 18th June. Renowned national coach, Paudie Butler from Tipperary was present on both days.
On Thursday 10th March, Brendan Harkin, Anne Daly and Peter Kerr met with members of the National Hurling Development Committee at Croke Park in an attempt to receive some financial help for the implementation of the Stategic Development Plan.
After the plan was presented, a lengthy discussion ensued and by the end of the discussion the National H.D.C. agreed to support us on two levels:
1. It agreed to pay £5.000 towards the purchasing of equipment needed to implement our plan.
2. It agreed to oversee the delivery of a 'coaching the coaches/parents' programme in both places.
“We spoke of the need for two additional hurling coaches in Tyrone to ensure our plan would reach its full fruition over the next five years," said Kerr.
“It was decided that this request would be revisited at a later date when our plan would be reviewed. In the meantime our efforts should be concentrated in establishing regular coaching in Ballygawley and Cookstown and ensuring the sustainability of both by involving and ultimately 'skilling up' parents in both areas."

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