The GAA, in collaboration with the PDST, has recently developed the Future Leaders Transition Year Programme.
It is a cross-curricular programme comprising of eight modules, each designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils.
The Programme gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic Games.
As part of the Programme pupils are challenged to organise and run a GAA Super Games Centre for younger students or assist in Coaching at the local Primary School.
The Programme is comprised of 8 modules.
All modules are between 6 - 10hrs long, stand alone and individually certifiable. Pupils will receive a certificate for each completed module.
A school can choose to deliver one or more modules. Delivering five modules plus the organisation of a GAA Super Games Centre/Coaching initiative through the pupils, results in them being awarded the "GAA/PDST Future Leaders Award".
When registered, each pupil gets an online e-Portfolio to store and share documentation and to submit tasks. Pupils receive certification for each module when all the tasks are completed and submitted to their e-Portolio.
The Super Games Centre allows players to take ownership of the Games and feel a sense of belonging and enjoyment in a fun, safe environment.
As the TY pupils themselves are responsible for organising and running all aspects of the 1st and 2nd Year Super Games Centre, this course encourages and empowers the Transition Year pupils to take ownership and responsibility for everything linked to the games, which make the match day experience what it is.
By completing the various modules and running a Super Games Centre, pupils really develop, mature and benefit in so many ways, which can only be achieved by putting their newly acquired skills and knowledge to use in a practical, real life setting.
From an educational perspective the benefits of the Programme are huge with TY pupils enhancing their Physical Literacy Skills, Digital Literacy Skills, Literacy & Numeracy Skills and their Presentation Skills.
From a social view point, the benefits to the pupil are equally important as the Programme, and the running of the Super Games Centre, embraces inclusivity and fosters a sense of belonging in the pupil. There are benefits to the pupil, the school, to the local community and in turn to the country as a whole.
The Future Leaders Transition Year Programme has the potential to make a huge contribution to the health and wellbeing, both physical and mental, of the young people of Ireland. This comes at a time when Irish children are engaging in less and less physical activity and levels of obesity and diabetes are on the rise.
This Programme will future proof our games in towns and villages countrywide by developing capacities in young people to empower them to take ownership of the games and carry them forward for the next generation.
They will be the future administrators, coaches, referees, ground staff, performance analysts, nutritionists etc. They could be the reason 1000s of children will play our games in every corner of the country in the years to come.
There are presently 48 schools delivering the Programme as part of Pilot Phase 2. The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) are our partners in this programme and are providing training and development to the teachers involved in this initiative. The Programme will be rolled out nationally in 2018/19 and presently there are more than 250 schools registered to start in September.
Post Primary School Teachers/Principals who wish to express interest in delivering the Future Leaders Transition Year Programme can do so at learning.gaa.ie/futureleaders.