It’s been a tough two years for many people in the community and one group who have had a tough time not being able to engage in their usual activities and meeting up with friends are young teenagers.
The launch of the club coincides in what has been a very difficult time for youth throughout the Covid pandemic and joining the club may be the perfect way to get back to socialising again.
The GAA nationally outlined the various benefits of being affiliated with a youth club which included, offering young people a safe space in their local community to come together to mix with their peers. It gives young people a sense of belonging in their community. Clubs can help individuals forge positive relationships/friendships with their peers and the leaders in the club. They also provide healthy, positive activities for young people, increasing their health, wellbeing, aspirations and engagement levels.
Consequently it was decided by a group of GAA parents to create a Youth Club in the Ballinasloe GAA Club House, located behind the Supervalue store in upper Brackernagh.
After a meeting with the GAA executive, funds were made available to purchase a pool table, an air hockey table, table tennis, and football tables and stock was bought for a small tuck shop. As the Youth Club becomes established there will be games, competitions, age-relevant talks and some day trips away are planned when safe to do so.
The Youth Club began in November and takes place on Friday nights from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and is open to young teenagers who are in Secondary school and are members of Ballinasloe GAA and Ballinasloe Camogie Club. Each person attending can bring a friend who is not necessarily a member of either club. It is hoped that the Youth Club initiative will help keep young people playing sport and will also encourage their non-playing friends to get involved in football, hurling, camogie.
The Club provides a social outlet for this cohort of young people to come together and enjoy themselves in a safe, supervised environment at a time of year when many of their sporting activities have not yet resumed.
There is a music system available for the member’s use and the clubhouse is getting much more positive use during the GAA Club’s offseason. There are club supervisors there at all times during the sessions.
There is an admission fee of €3 each night.
For more information, go to the Ballinasloe GAA Facebook page or contact club organiser Kathryn Gibbons on 087 9046140.
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