A group of jobseekers mainly from the Claremorris area have just completed a 10 week specialised sports coaching course which is hoped will provide them with the tools to coach in the local community, or gain some part time employment. The Goal to Work Sports Coach Training Programme, which ran for three days each week in Claremorris GAA Centre and Claremorris Family Resource Centre, allowed trainees to become qualified GAA, soccer, rugby, and athletics coaches, with additional sports modules in child protection, first aid, disability awareness, and walking leadership completed.
Trainee coaches also honed their skills and coaching in local Claremorris primary schools giving many children some quality participation experiences. The Caitheoirleach of the Claremorris Municipal District, Cllr Tom Connolly, presented the newly qualified coaches with their Goal to Work Sports Coach Training Programme certificates at a presentation held in the Claremorris FRC last Friday. He commended the partners in the programme with the assistance of Sport Ireland and the Dormant Accounts Board in bringing this programme to the area.
These partners include South West Mayo Development Company, Mayo County Council, Mayo Mental Health, Connacht GAA, Athletics Ireland, FAI, Connacht Rugby, and local national schools where the coaching took place. More than 100 sports coaches/leaders have now received training under the Goal to Work programme and are available to assist communities, sports clubs, and schools throughout the county.
Some participants have gained employment as sports co-ordinators under the Rural and Social Services Scheme, others have progressed on to further training, and some have gained some part-time employment as sports coaches with local schools, etc. Speaking on this issue Catherine McCloskey of South West Mayo Leader Partnership said: “Assisting the sports leaders/coaches to find employment or to progress onto further education or avail of training opportunities is an important outcome for the multi-agency organising committee.”
“The Goal to Work programme has assisted us hugely in our ability to reach out into communities across Mayo. Many coaches assist us in delivering initiatives for all sectors of the population,” sports co-ordinator for the Mayo Sports Partnership, Charlie Lambert, added.