Ballaghaderreen GAA Integration Blitz at the Connacht COE

  • Mar 10,2023

Press Release

Ballaghaderreen GAA organised a primary school blitz on the 2nd of March in the Dome at the Connacht Centre of Excellence. 

The games were non competitive and the teams were made up of children from different schools with the emphasis on fun and participation. Our two main aims of the blitz were to give children in our area the experience of playing in the world class facility that is the Dome. Secondly, to give newly arrived children to our country a positive experience of our national games and to build new friendships and connections in and between our school children.

The children also received expert coaching at a skills station with Mayo GAA coaches Billy McNicholas and Eugene Lavin as well as at a fundamental movement station with Tracy Cunnane of Mayo Sports Partnership. 

All six club feeder schools attended namely; Brusna NS, St Attracta's NS, Carracastle NS, Derrinabroc NS, Monasteraden NS and Emergency Reception and Orientation Centre, Ballaghaderreen. 

One hundred and eighty children attended ranging from 4th to 6th class. Forty three of the children were refugees and really enjoyed their first experience of a gaelic football following some in school coaching from Ballaghaderreen GAA coach David McHugh. The home country of these children included Ukraine, Syrian, Afghanistan, Arteoria and Eritrea. 

The event was coordinated by Ballaghaderreen GAA coaching officer, Dermot Dillon and club Well Being Officer, David McHugh.

The club would like to sincerely thank Denis O Boyle Connacht GAA Games for All Coordinator and Kurt Reinhardt of Connacht GAA for the support with hosting this fantastic event, as well as all the local teachers and St Nathy's students who helped with coaching the sixteen teams on the day. 

Photo title 1 Denis O Boyle Connacht GAA Games for All Coordinator, Billy McNicholas Mayo GAA Games Development Manager, Dermot Dillon Ballaghaderreen GAA coaching officer, Tracy Cunnane of Mayo Sports Partnership. 

Photo 16

Saerlaith and Aoibhinn were among the St Nathy's College students who refereed and coached at the blitz.