Mattie Kilroy, Connacht Co-ordinator of the GAA’s Social Initiative Scheme, attended a meeting in the Bush Hotel on April 18, arranged for the 10 Leitrim clubs that have so far registered to join the scheme.
Also present at the meeting was the Cathaoirleach of Coiste Chontae Liatroma, Joe Flynn.
The clubs involved are Ballinamore Sean O’Heslin’s, Drumreilly, Aughnasheelin, St. Mary’s, Aughawillan, Ballinaglera, Kiltubrid, Cloone, Carrigallen and Drumkeerin.
There was a great attendance and all the clubs are anxious to become fully integrated in the scheme, which was initiated by former Uachtarán ne h-Éireann, Mary McAleese and her husband Senator Martin McAleese, who is now one of the patrons of the Social Initiative.
They had asked the GAA to promulgate the idea throughout the Association and it has been taken up with relish. The GAA appointed a full-time co-ordinator, the former Roscommon and Mayo footballer Sean Kilbride, whose office is based in Croke Park.
The meeting of April 18, was very productive and the club representatives outlined a range of activities that have already been organised in the club areas to provide a social outlet, particularly for elderly club members and they also formulated further plans to enhance and expand the Social Initiative in their areas.
Mattie Kilroy, Leitrim GAA Chairman Joe Flynn and the county co-ordinator Tommy Moran, asked all clubs to attempt to embark on at least five different projects between now and September, at which time Social Initiative certificates will be presented to participating clubs.
Ideas that were proving very popular were a visit to Croke Park Stadium and Museum and also the organising of Social Initiative groups to attend Connacht Championship matches.
Activities to date have included social gatherings, card games, outings to places of interest, quizzes, events at local festivals, attendance at drama productions, keep-fit classes, reunions of former players --- a variety of events that have been thoroughly enjoyed by all participants. Some of the clubs have integrated their activities with Active Age, Men’s Groups and others in their area.
Other Leitrim clubs that may wish to register with the Social Initiative scheme can do so by contacting Sean Kilbride in Croke Park at firstname.lastname@example.org or Leitrim co-ordinator Tommy Moran email@example.com
The scheme will not impinge on the busy schedules of clubs and their officers, but would actually bring a renewed interest in the club and its affairs by people in the area.