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Youth Zone

#GAAyouth Forum – Your Voice, Your Lifestyle, Your GAA

On Saturday 24th October, 180 young players, aged 12 – 21, travelled from all over Ireland to Croke Park to discuss and learn about Player Welfare issues.

The young male and female players, aged 12 – 21, were selected on foot of an online application process. The theme of the 2015 #GAAyouth Forum was ‘Your Voice, Your Lifestyle, Your GAA’ and aimed to educate and empower young people around Player Welfare issues that are important to them.

The theme and the issues were decided on foot of a Consultation Day that was held with 100 young members in June 2014 at which the participants recommended that young players need more information and education around health, nutrition, injury prevention and burn-out.

The #GAAyouth Forum was opened by Páraic Duffy, GAA Director General, and during the day the young people had an opportunity to participate in a number of interactive sessions. Dr. Brendan Egan (Lecturer in UCD and Sligo Footballer) delivered a workshop on Food & Nutrition, which was based upon the information provided by the attendees through a 3 day online lifestyle diary completed before the Forum.

Dr. Egan spoke about the do’s and don’ts of Food & Nutrition and empowered the young players to make the best nutritional and lifestyle choices to fuel their playing performances. The Medical, Scientific and Welfare Committee also held an interactive discussion around a range of topics that the young people sought more information about including Concussion and Anti-Doping Rules.

The young players also got an opportunity to discuss injury prevention and rehabilitation with Michael Fennelly (Lecturer in Setanta College and Kilkenny Hurler) and Julie Davis (S&C Coach with the Armagh Footballers). Michael and Julie discussed the myths around Strength & Conditioning before leading a practical demonstration of the GAA’s Gaelic 15 Warm Up in the Hogan Stand Dressing Rooms.

The Forum concluded with a Q&A Panel session hosted by’s Paddy McKenna. The panellists were a mix of players –Ross Munnelly (Laois Footballer); Ashling Thompson (Cork Camogie); Noelle Healy (Dublin Ladies Footballer) – and experts in Sport Science including Dr. Brendan Egan; Julie Davis; Michael Fennelly and Ronan Carolan.

The young people got to pose questions to the panel about a range of different issues of interest including: managing a good balance between education, work and GAA; communicating effectively with adult coaches; preventing burnout and injury prevention.


The GAA Youth Committee is now inviting attendees at the Forum (aged 17 – 21) to apply to become part of a sub-group of 8 young people who will review the #GAAyouth Forum and prepare a report on the Forum to GAA Congress in 2016.

This group of eight young people will also be responsible for carrying out a project on one of the key issues raised at the Forum as well as selecting the theme of the next Forum in 2016. Interested young people should create a short three minute presentation or video explaining what the GAA means to them and why they should be chosen to represent the delegates of the 2015 #GAAyouth Forum.

They can then email or post this - along with details of their name, age, club and county - to Caoimhe by FRIDAY 13TH NOVEMBER (

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