Thirteen jobseekers from the Ballina area have just completed a 14 week long 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, for two days a week, allows 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 being offered. Trainees also honed their skills while on placement in Ballina urban area national schools for one of the days, giving many school children some quality coaching.
On Friday December 9 (today ) all trainees will be presented with a folder of certificates by Mr Ronan Scully of recent Operation Transformation fame. Scully has a sporting background coming from GAA country in Clara, Co Offaly. Recently he has worked for the charity agency GOAL, overcome many personal obstacles through the Operation Transformation series, and has just returned from Ethiopia having participated in the Great Ethiopia run. Attendees of the event are bound to be fascinated by his personal story and challenges he has encountered.
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 to Work 2 builds on the pilot initiative, is multi-sport, and specifically targeted the Ballina urban area. In addition, training was provided on how to explore setting up a business, enterprise, and further educational opportunities. Other modules included IT, communication skills, progression routes, and CV preparation. All of which would help participants to identify possible employment after the 14 week programme.
Already one of the trainees has taken up an internship, with others looking to further their skills through other training courses. Some plan to work with the governing bodies of sport while also continuing to assist schools and local communities in developing participation opportunities.
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.