GAA to train hurling coaches for Shanghai’s University of Sport

Hurling All Stars conduct impromptu coaching session for Chinese students

in Shanghai

The GAA is to initiate a training programme for Chinese students, intended to produce hurling coaches for the school of physical education and coaching at Shanghai's University of Sport, the oldest of China's 10 similar institutions.

Yesterday at the university GAA president Liam O’Neill addressed an audience of students from the school and said that the association looked forwards “to forging links between Ireland and this wonderful sporting university”.

Impromptu session
A number of the travelling party of hurling All Stars – Clare's Brendan Bugler and Pat Donnellan, Richie McCarthy (Limerick), David Collins (Galway) and Patrick Maher (Tipperary) – were also in attendance and moved the meeting outside to give a demonstration of hurling skills as well as conducting an impromptu coaching session for the students.

The audience also received a presentation on the history of Gaelic games and hurling in particular from Pat Daly, the GAA’s director of games development and research.

“We’re proposing to bring some students from the Shanghai University of Sport to Ireland,” Daly said afterwards. “In addition to studying English, they will also learn how to coach hurling and the intention is that they come back and work with the 1,000 students in the sports training course at the university to promote and develop hurling amongst them.”

'Socially based'
He said that it would be unreasonable to expect overseas clubs to pursue the sort of development programmes in existence at home.

“The traditional club model tends to be socially based and centred on the Irish community so it would be virtually impossible to expect them to take on the development of sport in the same way it happens back at home and that this provides an alternative in that we’re getting people involved who are already interested in sport and whose careers are in sports development. We feel if we can establish hurling amongst them, we’ll have a solid base.

“We have to get the first people over, get the process set up and build a sustainability into it with educational institutions back at home. It’s embryonic at the moment.”

Seán Moran

Seán Moran

Seán Moran is GAA Correspondent of The Irish Times