KILKENNY COUNTY Board is lending it’s support to an innovative appeal to help find work for hurlers and help reduce the forced emigration of talented and educated young sportsmen.
Many clubs have been badly hit in recent times by players being forced to emigrate against their will in search of work. However Dicksboro GAA have launched an appeal asking local employers to try and find seasonal work for their players. Although the initiative is aimed at providing summer work for third level students it is envisaged that if a solid network is created and contacts formed that long term work might be available when the players complete their studies.
Chairman of Kilkenny GAA County Board, Paul Kinsella is calling on other clubs to follow the initiative of Dicksboro GAA club who have launched an appeal to local employers to help find summer work for their players.
Dicksboro GAA Club has decided to try and assist their third level students in securing summer employment. “Our adult player base profile is relatively young and we have 30 third level students playing for our adult teams. We are acutely aware of the challenges presenting for local businesses and of the limited availability that may exist for summer employment. Nonetheless we are committed to doing what we can for our members who are currently proceeding through third level education,” said Development Chairman, Simon Walton.
County Board chairman, Paul Kinsella commended the move and urged other clubs to follow in Dickboro’s footsteps. “I am completely in support of this initiative and would urge other clubs to do the same. If 38 clubs get two or three youngsters fixed up with work then there could be up to 100 people in employment during the summer,” he said. “It is about putting down the building blocks. I am all in favour of clubs getting behind this initiative. It will help lads stay at home and hurl if they want to. The more clubs that get involved the better,” he said.
Mr Kinsella added that a number of clubs have been hit hard in recent years by players being forced to emigrate. “Various clubs have been hit. Very few players go on their own and you usually lose a couple at a time,” he said. Meanwhile Mr Walton added that Dicksboro had lost some players because of emigration. “Our player profile is very young. Our big concern is that many players have no option but to emigrate. This has a serious impact on the club. We hope that by appealing to local employers to help find work for our players that we are being both proactive and progressive,” he said.
Mr Walton explained that the rationale behind the initiative is two-fold. “Some of our players go abroad for the summer. They feel that they have no option and we want to hold onto these players. If we can forge links locally with employers then when the students finish their studies they might be able to secure full time employment and stay playing hurling. We are helping the youngsters develop their CV’s and develop their interview techniques and we are speaking to potential employers. Last summer we had players who went away to the US and Canada, some of them would have chosen to go anyway but some of them felt forced to. If someone wants to stay at home we are seeing what we can do as a club to assist them to do that,” added Mr Walton.