An enterprising group of secondary school students in Tipperary have designed a gumshield-storing glove suitable for Gaelic football.
UShield — the brainchild of four pupils in Cahir’s Coláiste Dún Iascaigh — incorporates a mesh pocket on the glove to secure the gumshield.
Gumshields are mandatory in Gaelic football and ladies football and the rule made headlines recently when Kildare’s Eoin Doyle picked up a second yellow card for not having his mouthguard in place when receiving a kick-out in their league clash with Donegal.
Players have usually stored their gumshields in their socks or shorts but the ingenuity of Seán Cunningham and Morgan Lambert (Ardfinnan), Caolan McGrath (Cahir) and Cian O’Brien (Bansha) has provided a more practical and hygienic solution.
Cunningham came up with the concept. The work with his friends is part of their Junior Certificate project and has made the National Student Enterprise finals, which takes place in Croke Park next Wednesday.
Also suitable for hockey and horse-racing from where there has been notable interest in the glove, Cunningham recently explained to Stevie O’Donnell on Tipperary Mid-West Community Radio: “Our product is a gumshield pouch on a football glove, which you can put your gumshield into when you’re off the field.
“I played U16s with Ardfinnan and up to now I usually would have shoved my gumshield down my sock. It’s not hygienic and that’s why we came up with the idea of the glove.”
Former Tipperary and Laois manager Peter Creedon, who is principal of the boys’ school, as well as their PE teachers, Tipperary ladies football manager Shane Ronayne, and former county footballer Damien Byrne advised them in the process.
UShield is currently being sold in schools but the group are hoping to target the online market.
For more information, follow @UShield_ie on Instagram and Twitter.
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