‘A GAAme of 3 Halves’ is a cross-community event for clubs and their local primary schools and is currently being rolled out as part of the CRC-funded ‘Sport Uniting Communities’ project.
Ulster GAA Community Sports Development Officers (CSDOs) work closely with schools in the Maintained, Monitored and Integrated Areas with a view to breaking down barriers in society and building community through sport.
The ‘Game of 3 Halves’ initiative is carried out by Ulster GAA Community Department staff, allowing participants to receive coaching in Gaelic football, hurling camogie and GAA rounders in an environment where they are mixed with participants other backgrounds and are encouraged to work closely together. and build relationships with people from all sections of the community.
The concept was first developed by Paul Brown, Youth Coordinator at Knock Presbyterian Church, in conjunction with PeacePlayers International as a cross-community initiative that would bring together the three governing bodies and provide children on both sides of the community the chance to discover Gaelic. Games, Rugby and Football.
Ulster GAA, having been involved in this format alongside Ulster Ruby and the Irish FA in the recently concluded Peace IV project, have now developed the concept of a GAA-themed alternative.
The Ulster GAA will invite local clubs or schools to come together to organize a GAAme of 3 Halves event. Throughout the day, participants receive coaching from Community Sport Development Officers in all codes. The day takes place in a Blitz format where participants are divided into “mixed” teams and play matches in all three codes.
Research conducted at Peace IV Project “Sport Uniting Communities” events in early 2021 shows that only 55% of attendees felt very comfortable or somewhat comfortable engaging with people from other horizons before the event, increasing to over 90%. cent at the end of the event.
Only 11% of attendees had regular contact with people from other sections of the community, showing that events like this are a necessity for building positive relationships through sport in Northern Ireland and the counties bordering.
This is a great opportunity for our clubs to market themselves as open and welcoming community clubs and in turn help to grow membership and sell their club to new members and volunteers through local elementary schools. .
Ulster GAA is fully committed to the principles of inclusion and diversity.
If your club or school is interested in hosting a GAAme of 3 Halfs event, contact your local Community Sports Development Manager.
Ryan McShane – Greater Belfast, North Down and Ards
Pierce Caherty – Armagh, Monaghan, South Down and Mid Ulster
Proinsias O’Kane – Cavan, Derry, Donegal, Fermanagh and North Antrim