Thirteen jobseekers from the Ballina area are to undertake for two days a week, over 14 weeks, a specialised sports coaching course which it is hoped will provide them with the tools to obtain some part time employment. The Goal to Work programme will allow trainees to become fully qualified GAA, rugby, and soccer coaches with additional sports modules in child protection, first aid, disability awareness, and active leadership also been offered.
Goal To Work is an exciting initiative originally piloted in Mayo in 2010. The first programme trained 12 jobseekers to become fully qualified soccer coaches and referees, with many of those gaining some part time employment as a result. Goal toWork 2, which builds on the pilot initiative, is multi-sport and specifically targets the Ballina urban area. In addition, training will be provided on how to explore setting up a business, enterprise and further educational opportunities. Other modules will include IT, communication skills, progression routes, and CV preparation. All of which would help participants to identify possible employment after the 14 week programme.
Launching the programme Ballina Mayor Peter Clarke wished all the trainees well while also praising the collaboration between the various co-ordinating agencies such as Mayo Sports Partnership, Mayo North East Leader Partnership, and Mayo County Development Board.
“It’s fantastic to see the three main sporting bodies in the country coming together in providing opportunities for those who need it most. I hope that all coaches will work to provide programmes utilising the wonderful sports facilities developed by the town council,” the Mayor commented.
It is hoped that the initiative will benefit the Ballina area with many of the coaches linking in with the recently formed Moy Sports Network to provide participation opportunities for disadvantaged sectors of the community.