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GAA: Antrim aims to inspire the young hurlers

By John Campbell

Published 13/12/2006

THE North Antrim Coaching and Development Committee is certainly pulling out all the stops to promote hurling among under-age groups.

Owen Elliott, a driving force behind the initiative, has confirmed that a programme of activities has been planned which will ensure a variety of competitions for both boys and girls.

"We want to involve as many youngsters as possible and there is no doubt that children enjoy participating in structured games," says Owen

Next Sunday, an Under-13 Astro Turf Outdoor competition will be launched at Ballycastle (10.30am-12.30pm).

"This will offer youngsters the chance to hone their skills," explains Owen. "It's important that the fun element is kept very much in vogue."

The competition will continue on Monday (7.00pm-9.00pm) and on Friday week (7.00-9.00).

"Niall Kearney, Seamus Elliott and myself are co-ordinating the event and there is certainly plenty of interest," says Owen.

The competition is in essence a one-day blitz with the various clubs being graded and then given a designated day to play all their games.

"We have all the details finalised and we are expecting a very interesting and excitement competition," adds Owen.

Seamus Elliott, of course, formerly coached Dunloy to Antrim and Ulster senior championship glory and is regarded as one of Ulster's foremost coaching authorities.

The concerted bid to nurture youthful talent in the north Antrim area in particular will be further stepped up shortly but, for the moment, the focus will be on the under-13 blitz.

"It's important that children are bracketed within age groups in which they are comfortable. There is no doubt that the earlier they get the chance to master the basic skills, the more they will enjoy the game," adds Owen.

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