Ground hurling introduced to national schools

October 11th, 2018 8:30 AM

By Kieran McCarthy

National school teachers taking part in the hurling coaching workshop at Skibbereen Sports Centre, from left, Barry O'Driscoll (Ballinacarriga NS), John Healy (St Patrick's NS, Dunmanway), Margaret Fitzgerald (Kilcoe NS), Triona White (Our Lady of Mercy NS, Bantry), Michael Mennis (Timoleague NS) an

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THE introduction of Sciath na Scol hurling in West Cork schools has been welcomed with open arms.

Eighteen local national schools were represented at a recent teacher coaching  course on indoor/ground hurling at the Sports Centre in Skibbereen, as efforts are underway to promote Sciath na Scol hurling in West Cork.

County Games Manager Kevin O’Callaghan hosted the workshop that took teachers through the basics of hurling – how to hold the hurley properly, the swing, blocking, etc – so they could take the information back to their schools.

‘There is currently no Sciath na Scol hurling in West Cork, it’s only football, so these are the initial steps to try and get hurling up and running,’ explained Alan Foley, principal of St Patrick’s Boys NS in Skibbereen and also O’Donovan Rossa hurling goalkeeper.

‘We’ve decided that indoor hurling/ground hurling is the best way to introduce it to schools. We’re starting at a very basic level so everyone can get involved. Every school and every pupil can do this. 

‘Teachers came from schools around Skibbereen and as far away as Bantry and Timoleague. We had 18 schools that attended and others who wanted to but couldn’t. It was very positive and the feedback we received was very encouraging too.’

The hope is that local national schools will host their own indoor/ground hurling blitzes in the next few weeks. It will take time to introduce and embed hurling into what is a non-traditional hurling area.

‘We want to get schools involved and get kids to the stage where they are comfortable with a hurley,’ Foley added.

‘We’re not making it too competitive, this is about introducing hurling to schools and hopefully, in time, it can build up to a stage where we look to field teams in West Cork Sciath na Scol hurling similar to football, where schools will enter various divisions depending on the size of the school.’

It’s been a positive start and another workshop could be held in a couple of weeks’ time for schools who missed out on the recent coaching course and for schools who want to learn more about the basic skills of hurling. Contact Alan Foley at St Patrick’s Boys NS for more information (028-21948).

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