Continuing on from the groundwork that was made by my predecessor, the Youth Development Schools Program was granted affiliation to the Yorkshire County Board as a club on 12/05/2014, having complied with all the requirements of club affiliation.

Our vision is to satisfy the common needs of youths, schools, local communities, local G.A.A clubs, local councils and Gaelic Games Development through participation in our games. 

The five main aims of the YDSP is to promote and develop:- 
  • Gaelic Games in schools,
  • Coaching in schools,
  • School competitions/blitzes,
  • Play Centres (satellite clubs), and
  • Links and transition to local clubs.
Play Centres will enable opportunities for youths to participate in our games on a regular basis within their local community. The emphasis is "turn up and play" and "learn through play." Coaching and training will be delivered as required through a games based approach rather than the traditional skill-drill (to death) approach. Play Centres will allow playing opportunities without the insistence of commitment to training and club games (and hidden costs e.g. kit), though the opportunity to become a member of a local club is there and entirely optional.

Turn Up - Take Part - Take Pleasure - Take Pride 

Club status allows further participation for YDSP players (upon registration - which is free) in Gaelic Games activities outside of schools and Play Centres; and also a route for players to be part of Yorkshire development teams and County teams. The YDSP is covered by the Association's public liability insurance and players injury scheme. This transfers appropriate liabilities away from schools and community centres to the Association.

We already have three high schools who have completed a trial league, and because of its success, we will be continuing with another league for these three schools after the half term. Its success is evident by the enjoyment of the youth players, their coaches & mentors and the support from the schools  - they wanted more. We also aim to have a school U14s Cup championship (Sunday 20/07/2014) at the John Charles Centre for Sport (Stadium), Leeds, which is host to the Leeds Irish Festival.

Before the end of the school year we will be including more schools in our program. 

Our mission is to bring sporting opportunities to youths.

Bringing sport to children - not children to sport.

Jason Rooney
Community Development Administrator.
May, 2014.