Friday, January 29, 2021

13 players from Carlow were among 303 players new inter-county panel members who logged on to the GPA’s 2021 Rookie Camp which was held remotely across three evenings last week

The camp, which is in its third year, is aimed at helping young players to adapt to life on a senior panel and also at showcasing the supports they have at their disposal through the GPA.

Catherine Kavanagh and Keeva Collins (Camogie), Aibha Kieran (Dual), Mark Furey, Luke Connolly, Colm Hulton and Anne Roche (Football) and Jon Nolan, Gary Lawlor, Jack McCullagh, Tony Lawlor, Niall Bolger and Conor Kehoe (Hurling) all attended.

Mark Furey was one of 13 Carlow players who logged on to the GPA’s 2021 Rookie Camp
Photo: ©INPHO/Laszlo Geczo

In advance of the event players were asked to complete a personality profile which allowed Thomas International’s Daire Lynam help them better understand themselves as people on the opening night of the camp.  This in turn helps players to improve their performance in sport, their studies and their careers.

On Tuesday night sport’s psychologist Dr. Ciara Losty delivered a presentation focused on Strengths-based approach to developing my personal wellbeing toolkit, helping players prepare for the opportunities and challenges associated with being an inter-county player.  Dr. Losty works with many international athletes including members of Irish Olympic teams.

This was followed by a panel discussion where Mayo footballer and current PhD student Stephen Coen and Cork footballer Dr. Orlagh Farmer shared their experiences on how building their own personal wellbeing toolkits have helped them overcome challenges and setbacks on and off the field.

The final night of the camp saw international athlete Ciara Mageean and Irish 7’s rugby star and Love Island winner Greg O’Shea discuss how they balance their lives in sport and outside of sport.  They focused on how they ensure they look after the 3 p’s – the physical, personal and psychological parts of their lives.

Speaking about the event GPA Player Development Manager Ian Reeves said“Stepping into a senior inter-county dressing room can be a daunting experience for young players.  We want to ensure our members are as best prepared as they can be for what that entails.  We also want to ensure that becoming a senior inter-county player does not take away from the other aspects of their lives which cannot and should not be ignored.  A balanced approach to their sport will allow them perform better both on and off the field of play.”

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