A group of jobseekers from the Erris area in north Mayo have just completed a 14 week long specialised sports coaching course which it is hoped will provide them with the tools to obtain employment.
The Goal to Work sports coach training programme, which is run two days each week, allowed the trainees to become fully qualified GAA, rugby, and soccer coaches with additional sports modules in child protection, first aid, disability awareness, physical activity, and active leadership completed. Trainee coaches also honed their skills by organising several community events and coaching in local national schools giving many school children some quality participation experiences.
Minister of State for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring presented the newly qualified coaches with their Goal to Work Sports Coach Training Programme certificates at a presentation held in the Aras Inis Gluaire. He commended the project co-ordinators Mayo Sports Partnership, Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Company, Údaras na Gaeltachta, Erris Community Health Forum, and Mayo County Development Board for the foresight to bring such an innovative programme to fruition.
Originally developed in Leitrim, under the auspices of the County Development Board, the Goal to Work Sports Coach Training Programme is now in its fourth phase having already being rolled out in Castlebar, Ballina, and Ballyhaunis.
So far 46 sports coaches and leaders have now received training under the Goal to Work programme and are available to assist communities, sports clubs, and schools throughout the county. “These coaches are a fantastic resource to have in the county and we have utilised a number of them in delivering some of our participation initiatives,” said Charlie Lambery, sports co-ordinator for the Mayo Sports Partnership.