Open letter from Padraic Mitchell – Head of Games

July 6th, 2023

A Chairde,

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Padraic Mitchell from the Western Gaels club. I am truly humbled at the level of support and  good wishes I have received since my appoinment as ‘County Head of Games’ was announced. This confirms for the level of passion and interest there is within the county and indeed across the globe for Roscommon GAA. It is a huge honour and privilege for me to lead ‘Coaching & Games Development’ into the future, but I am also acutely aware of the responsibility this role holds for me and for all of our fantastic staff. 

The strength of Roscommon GAA is in its clubs, club coaches, club administrators and club volunteers. You are the people who shaped Roscommon over a number of years and remain the bedrock on which our association is built and on which it will prosper. If I, or any of our staff, can help you in any of your endeavours please reach out. We are here to facilitate the volunteer effort in any way we can with one common cause, to improve the relationship young people have with your club and with our county. 

The main aspects of Roscommon GAA that we are focused on are ‘Primary schools coaching’, ‘Post-Primary schools’ activity’, ‘Coach education’, in both a formal and informal setting, ‘Talent ID & Development’ through our development squads, ‘Cul camps’, which have just kicked off with roughly 2.000 children attending and most importantly, in engaging with clubs on their Nursery programme, GoGames and underage club coaching and education. 

We are very lucky in Roscommon with the level of interest there is in the GAA within our Primary schools. We engage with all 90 primary schools in the county  and we find these to be wonderfully positive, supportive environments for our young people. We really are lucky with the quality and richly empathic nature of our teachers and their schools. I would like to thank all of them personally for facilitating our games so enthusiastically over the last number of years. It really is appreciated. We  struggle to provide coaching to all schools every year  due to lack of personnel so if you are interested in primary schools coaching in your local area please do reach out to any member of our team as it is a vital role in introducing children to our games. 

Likewise, our Post primary schools are full of enthusiasm for Roscommon GAA and the levels of engagement have flourished in recent years through our new ‘County Schools Games’ programmes which have excelled. The games opportunities that our PP schools provide are an invaluable resource in the development of our young players. I know the logistics are getting harder for schools to accommodate sporting activity and yet in Roscommon we were able to introduce a new whole raft of games. We are hugely indebted to our schools and the work that their teachers do in making these new competitions a reality. The addition of these new competitions shows the passion, energy and enthusiasm that there is among our schools for our games. The volunteer teachers, who spend many a wet evening throughout the winter on pitches after school is a mark of the dedication to Roscommon GAA there is among teachers and that is truly appreciated. The recent success enjoyed by  Scoil Mhuire Strokestown and Roscommon CBS is a reward for the remarkable work I have seen in both schools in promoting and developing our games. Well done to both.

Again, I wish to thank everyone within the county who volunteers at any level with our clubs or county. Volunteering is what makes a community and the GAA is an integral part of our communities so there is no better vehicle  to have a positive impact than within your local GAA club. 

Is Mise le Meas,

Padraic Mitchell

Roscommon County Head of Games

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