Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 23 April 2014

GAA: Valuing role of volunteers

The role of the volunteer within the GAA has been coming under increased scrutiny lately - a fact not unrelated to the quest by GPA members to seek payments for county squad members, it should be stated.

There is considerable unease, indeed, that what is viewed as a potential erosion of the amateur status could perhaps in the longer term force some of the many hundreds of club and county volunteer officials and workers to rethink their roles.

This being the case, it comes as no great surprise to learn that the Ulster Council is placing increased emphasis on the theme of 'Valuing Volunteers'.

In this connection, a course will be held in the Armagh City Hotel next Tuesday at which the tutors will be Mark Conway and Ryan Feeney.

Conway is regarded as one of the most innovative thinkers within the GAA, having espoused the popular Club Tyrone and Club Derry concepts, while Feeney is currently fulfilling an important role within the Ulster Council not least in his capacity as Integration Officer.

Tuesday's course will also include information on club governance and fund-raising.

The 'Valuing Volunteers' course is just one of several which will be conducted by the Ulster Council next week.

On Monday, a course in Preparing and Tapering will be held at Loughry College, Cookstown with Jimmy Darragh in charge, while on Tuesday an under-age coaching course will take place at Jackson's Hotel, Ballybofey with Terence McWilliams at the helm.

Then next Wednesday, the Mid Ulster Sports Arena in Cookstown will host a Match Movement in Football course with Philip Kerr taking charge.