Promoting good practice name of the game

The GAA’s National Children’s Officer has expressed his confidence that the association’s new code of practice for young people, and those working with them, will prove to be a success.

Our Games, Our Code, which packages best practice together for the first time, was recently launched and Gearóid Ó Maolmhichil has stressed the importance of the new initiative.

“It’s important that, through our coaches and our parents, we’d promote what we call good practice,” he said.

“That includes useful hints, for example, what they should have on a website, texting and communication young people, if there’s a problem how to deal with it, whether it’s a code of behaviour or if an allegation has been made.

“In the past, people had to try and access it and it mightn’t have always been easy. This will be available on every club website, every county website, and the same applies to camogie and ladies football as well.”

Having the code in place leaves the GAA in a strong position ahead of forthcoming legislation.

“We have some important pieces of legislation coming in next year which will impact on all sports,” Ó Maolmhichil said.

“There will be a Garda vetting bill and we’re pleased that that is coming in because we’re already vetting our coaches, we have already vetted 50,000 people on the island.

“The second piece is the Children First Bill, and in that there will be a legal requirement for the association, from county to club level, to adhere to good practice. We’re happy, we don’t fear legislation, we welcome it, and it will put our work into a good context.”

Ó Maolmhichil was speaking at the launch of the Rebel Óg master fixture plan for 2013 at the Rochestown Park Hotel.

Fixtures are more streamlined now than in the past, with Féile qualifiers now to be played over two weekends as they had been impacting on the U14 county competitions, while the first week of August is free of championship activity to abet family holiday-planning.

In addition, some championships may be run in league format, though this will be announced later.


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