Gaelic Players Association launch support network for GAA players
NYC event aimed at raising awareness for the Player Development Program
The Chairman of the New York GAA Board, Larry McCarthy arranged for the players and two famous trophies to travel to the Shannon Gaels club in Queens where the efforts of grass roots GAA people in the city were visible as young players from the club gathered in large numbers to meet us. It is envisaged that the GPA’s continuing presence in New York will be of mutual benefit to the GAA in the city.
The next day it was the turn of the East Bronx to welcome the party as we landed in St. Raymond’s as they prepared to play Long Island Gaels in an under 10 game. Both these visits added enormously to the experience for the GPA delegation.
Meanwhile, invited guests in the New York Athletic Club last Thursday were enthused by the idea that the GPA has now created a solid support structure aimed at sustaining and protecting the county player’s contribution to Gaelic games and indeed to Irish society.
The importance of the GAA and the GAA player to Irish sport and culture, particularly now with the threat of emigration and deepening social problems, was highlighted throughout the evening and indeed was the important subtext of our trip.
Also noted was the GPA’s work in the area of social initiatives such as the prevention of suicide, unfortunately a serious crisis in Ireland particularly among young men.
Fronted by GPA chief executive and chairperson Dónal Óg Cusack, the GPA will continue to promote its work and the long-term sustainability of its Player Development Program in the US.
Assisting county GAA players with their off-field lives can help secure the future health of Gaelic games. The challenge for the GPA is to ensure that we can continue to deliver that support into the future.
There are many people we would like to sincerely thank for making this visit highly productive. None more so than Kieran McLoughlin of the American Ireland Fund and the members of our advisory group which had its inaugural meeting on Thursday. We look forward to their ongoing support and indeed the support of others as we continue on this journey.
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