This year Deloitte is giving up to 400 school children in Jersey the opportunity to try out a new sport – Gaelic football.
The initiative runs for seven weeks culminating in an inter-schools competition in June. This is the second year that the Gaelic football schools tournament has run, growing in success and momentum.
Last year’s success has led to more schools getting involved this season with now seven of the island’s schools taking part. The sessions are targeted at youngsters in Year Six, and the training sessions are incorporated into the school day during the children’s PE lessons.
D’Auvergne, St Michaels and Rouge Bouillon saw their first training sessions last month, swiftly followed by Janvrin, Victoria College Prep, Le Moye and FCJ.
Gaelic football originated in Ireland but is rapidly growing at an international level and is currently one of the fastest growing sports across Europe. Played during the summer months, the skill set required for this game is transferable between rugby and football.
There are two ways to score; kicking the ball over the bar makes one point and kicking the ball into the goal, similar to football, scores a goal worth three points. A minimum of nine players is needed on each side, but this can be increased to 15 depending on availability of numbers.
Members of the Jersey Irish GAA club have voluntarily given up their time to support the development of the sport in the island. This generosity has provided the opportunity for the local school children to get involved in a fun activity.
Eugene McCarthy, a member of the Jersey Irish GAA club, said: ‘2017 was the first year of this initiative, which proved to be incredibly successful. It generated a real buzz amongst the students and schools, encouraging the children to try out something new. We are grateful to Deloitte for their support of a sport that has huge potential on the island.’
Siobhan Durcan, Director of Deloitte, says: ‘We have sponsored a variety of sports over the years across both islands, and we are delighted to support this new initiative.
‘It encourages school children to try out a sport where there is a huge focus on having fun, while also keeping healthy and active. We are delighted that this year has seen an increase in the number of children wanting to participate.
‘As a company, we love to get involved within the community and hope that many of the children who try out the sport through the schools’ programme, carry this on over summer to play for the Jersey GAA club.’
For children aged six years or over and who would like to try Gaelic football, but don’t attend any of the seven schools taking part in the tournament, there are training sessions every Thursday at 6:30 pm at Grainville Pitch and all are welcome.
For more information about the Jersey Irish GAA club, please visit their Facebook page.