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GAA and IFA partnership boost

By Laure James

The Irish Football Association and Ulster GAA have been handed a £350,000 pay-out from local government, but IFA president Jim Shaw has warned it won’t go very far.

As part of Sport in the Community, a new partnership between the sports bodies and the Department for Social Development, the cash will be split equally and spread over three years.

However, after both the IFA and GAA have each recruited two new administrators and accounted for their three-year employment deals worth £75,000 each, there won’t be much left over. Shaw said: “It is not a very significant amount.

“But the idea is that we’re creating social capital as well as investing money. It is supposed to work as a pyramid system, in that if we train a certain number of volunteers they can help to provide training to others at their clubs.”

With 800 registered adult teams and 1,030 registered with the Boys FA, it would be impossible to say which clubs will benefit from the extra boost.

But Shaw is confident it could encourage more people to volunteer for work in their local community.

He added: “It’s a step in the right direction and we hope this initial investment will pay off in the longer term by improving the skills of the valuable volunteers we already have working in football and encourage more on board.

“We also expect to learn a lot from GAA who have a great deal of experience in this area and we’re looking forward to the partnership,” added the IFA president.

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