London GAA to seek Sky Sports help as part of strategic plan

The London County Board are hopeful that the GAA’s media partners will assist them in raising the profile of Gaelic games in the area
London GAA to seek Sky Sports help as part of strategic plan

A general view of McGovern Park, Ruislip, which hosted the 2019 SFC clash between London and Galway. Picture: INPHOGerry McManus

London GAA are to approach Sky Sports about promoting their activities as part of their new 2021-24 strategic plan.

The London County Board are hopeful that the GAA’s media partners will assist them in raising the profile of Gaelic games in the area and aim to liaise with the broadcasters in the coming weeks.

Sky Sports’ studios are in Isleworth, seven miles away from Ruislip’s McGovern Park. St Brendan’s GAA club is a nearby GAA club, just three miles away.

Although it remains uncertain if London will be involved in Division 4 and/or the Connacht senior football championship this season, the Exiles are determined to be involved providing if it is safe to do so given that it’s their 125th year. London have been included in Division 4 South along with Carlow, Waterford and Wexford.

If they are involved in the Championship, it remains to be seen who they face. Roscommon were due to travel to face them in the preliminary round last year before the pandemic, which ruled out their participation in the SFC.

According to the rota, it’s Mayo’s turn to go to Ruislip.

London’s hurlers had been in Division 2B and the Christy Ring Cup.

Comprising 27 adult clubs and 16 youth clubs, London GAA are also aiming for recognition from Sport England in the form of funding “as a sporting body promoting our games in London”.

They are also looking to build up links with schools. Currently, there are 34 primary and 19 secondary schools involved in a programme to encourage children to play for a club. While the board also intend increasing the number of hurling clubs and players at under-age level.

Led by London GAA finance and operations manager Stephen Lohan, the plan was due to be released last year but was postponed because of the pandemic. Connacht Council operations manager Adrian Hassett also played contributory roles in putting the document together.

“This is the first ever production of a Strategic Plan for the GAA in London and a lot of hard work has gone into generating this document,” reads the plan.

“A three-year plan is a medium-term duration to plan our future needs to promote, encourage and grow our association in London. It is envisaged that it is a process that will be undertaken every three years to ensure the continued and sustained protection and growth of Gaelic games in the county.”

The London County Board was established on May 24, 1896 at a meeting in Kensal Rise in North West London attended by Sam Maguire and Liam MacCarthy after which the senior inter-county championship cups are named. Both served as presidents and treasurers of the board.

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