Past and present inter-county stars to serve as 2022 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Ambassadors

HE Ladies Gaelic Football Association is pleased to confirm the list of ambassadors who will assist in the delivery of the 2022 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme.  

The list of 13 ambassadors is made up of past and present inter-county stars, with new ambassadors Cathy Carey (Antrim) and Samantha Lambert (Tipperary) revealed today.  

Cathy was recently appointed as Antrim Senior team captain for the 2022 season, while Samantha, who has retired from inter-county football, captained Tipperary to TG4 All-Ireland Intermediate titles in 2017 and 2019.  

Cathy and Samantha will join eleven returning ambassadors for the programme which gets underway next Monday, January 24, with an induction evening.  

This will be followed by the first coaches session on Monday, February 14, and the programme continues through to the National ZuCar Gaelic4Teens Festival Day, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 30.  

The returning ambassadors are Fiona McHale (Mayo), Jackie Kinch (Wicklow), Laura Fleming (Roscommon), Cliodhna O’Connor (Dublin), Bronagh McGrane (Louth), Cassandra Buckley (Kerry), Orlagh Farmer (Cork), Emily Martin (Down), Máire O Shaughnessy (Meath), Sharon Courtney (Monaghan) and Sinead Delahunty (Tipperary). 

Representatives from the 30 participating clubs will attend six sessions delivered by the ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassadors, and engage with self-led modules between the various dates.  

The clubs will also receive a visit from a ZuCar Gaelic4Teens ambassador or a county player to conduct a coaching session, and witness theory in action.  

Following a hugely-successful pilot in 2017, Gaelic4Teens has grown considerably to over double in size, and this programme will help clubs to retain their current playing bases while also recruiting players in the 13-17 age bracket, which has been identified as a group with a high drop-out rate. 

The 30 clubs taking part this year are as follows: 

Munster (6): Bishopstown (Cork), Rockbán (Cork), Grenagh (Cork), Laune Rangers (Kerry), Oola (Limerick), Tramore (Waterford),  

Leinster (11): Balyna (Kildare), Kilcock (Kildare), Maynooth (Kildare), St. Loman’s (Westmeath), Na Dúnta (Westmeath), Oldcastle (Meath), St. Colmcilles (Meath), Moylagh (Meath), St. Patrick’s (Wexford), St. Peregrine’s (Dublin) and Valleymount (Wicklow),  

Ulster (6): Clann Éireann (Armagh), Crossmaglen Rangers (Armagh), St. Tiarnach’s, (Monaghan), Tír na nÓg (Antrim), Clan na nGael (Tyrone), Naomh Colmcille (Donegal) 

Connacht (7): Caherlistrane (Galway), Claregalway (Galway), Kilmovee Shamrocks (Mayo), Kiltane (Mayo), Melvin Gaels (Leitrim), Menlough/Skehana (Galway), Moycullen (Galway) 

The programme will work closely with coaches, influencing the content of their coaching sessions as well as establishing the best ways for coaches to communicate and engage with their players. In addition, the programme will examine the coaching environment required to ensure long term development of players is being facilitated in the club. 

The programme will be monitored and evaluated to ensure that it achieves the aim of having a direct impact on the retention of players. 

The research that prompted the development of the Gaelic4Teens programme revealed that players play for enjoyment, to improve and get better, to keep fit and healthy, to relieve stress and because their friends also play. 

The reasons highlighted for giving up the sport are that they don’t get enough playing time, there is no fun at training, that it is too competitive and that they are treated differently. 

Looking ahead to the commencement of the programme, LGFA President Mícheál Naughton commented: “We cannot wait to get going with our 2022 ZuCar Gaelic4Teens programme, which is a hugely important initiative. Gaelic4Teens continues to thrive on an annual basis, and I would like to wish the participating clubs the very best as they engage with the programme. Best wishes also to our returning and new Gaelic4Teens ambassadors, who are all past or present inter-county players and wonderful role models for our Association. These players are fountains of knowledge for the participating clubs and can impart so much invaluable knowledge and expertise. The presence of ZuCar, the LGFA’s Official Performance Partner, as sponsors of Gaelic4Teens will also help to ensure that the programme elevates to a new level, and we thank them for their support.”  

Gavin Hydes, Group CEO, ZuCar, added: “The list of ambassadors for the ZuCar #Gaelic4Teens programme is a wonderful mix of both past and present Ladies Football stars. Each of the ambassadors has a unique story to tell and these experiences will help to develop the skill-sets of coaches and, in turn, increase the retention rate of teenage girls in the sport. The participating clubs can look forward to wonderful engagement with the ambassadors, who can impart vast levels of expertise. At ZuCar, we look forward to following the journeys of the clubs and ambassadors involved in the programme.”  

For further information, please contact LGFA National Development Officer William Harmon: [email protected]