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26/10/2021

Dromahair All Stars a wonderful success

Dromahair All Stars a wonderful success

Dromahair All Stars session

Dromahair All Stars is a specially adapted fun session for children, up to the age of 12, with additional needs and is run by St Patrick’s Dromahair GAA club as part of our Healthy Club journey, in conjunction with the local ladies GAA club, Naomh Padraig.
The very first Dromahair All Stars session took place on Sunday, September 12, and will run until Sunday October 31 (inclusive).
Each week Dromahair All Stars group has continued to grow starting off with six All Stars and we now have 14-16. Our All Stars are not only local children from within the Dromahair community, but they also travel from further afield and we are delighted to welcome each and every one of them to our GAA club.
Each All Star brings their own sense of enjoyment and witty humour and it’s absolutely wonderful to watch them enjoy themselves and their families and for them all to be part of our GAA club. We have around 15-16 coaches for the group, which is made up of local SNA’s, teachers, people who have experience of working with individuals with additional needs and also volunteers from both GAA clubs and the wider community.
Each new All Star is given a welcome pack which includes their own medal as they are now an All Star, and a mini O’Neill’s football for them to bring home themselves which they can bring to each session if they wish.
We follow the direction of each child and their parent/guardian to make sure that they are doing an activity that they enjoy. We also have a specially adapted blackboard which the children can go to when they want a little break from the activities – this was made especially by Jim, the father of St Patrick’s Dromahair GAA Healthy Club Officer, Tracey Kelly. There really is something for everyone at Dromahair All Stars!
Having the Dromahair All Stars group in place wouldn’t be possible without the support from:

m St Patrick’s Dromahair GAA club executive for their continued support and backing
m The wider GAA community including Lisa at Blessington GAA club for her many tips and advise and Ger McTavish, GAA Diversity and Inclusion Officer
m Michelle Fanning at Leitrim Sports Partnership who organized Disability Awareness in Sport training for our coaches through CARA Inclusion and also organized for some of our equipment
m Local business man, Andrew Hudson, and all at Verus Metrology Partners who has provided sponsorship for our All Stars
m To our wonderful group of coaches, who without their experience, sense of fun and commitment to the group our sessions would not be possible
m But most of all to our All Stars themselves and their families - without you all, our All Stars group wouldn’t be what it is and will continue to be!

We were delighted as a club to register our Dromahair All Stars as part of the GAA National Inclusion Fitness Day initiative (which took place recently on the week of September 23). We are extremely proud of our All Stars group and would highly recommend any other GAA Club to become more inclusive and open up your doors for all in your community.
We couldn’t recommend the All Stars initiative enough - our GAA club, our community and coaches get as much from the group as our All Stars themselves!
As Tracey, St Patrick’s Dromahair GAA Healthy Club Officer, says “we have held many groups in our GAA club over the years and personally I’ve been involved in many volunteering initiatives, but nothing compares to the sense of community and inclusion that we have gotten from Dromahair All Stars.
“The feeling that I had coming home from our very first session will stay with me for a very long time. This is what the GAA is all about at grassroots level – being a community for everyone to feel welcome and part of the club!”
If anyone would like to find out more information on joining Dromahair All Stars, or even if you are a club considering the initiative and want some advice, please don’t hesitate to email dromahairallstars@gmail. com.

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