The following is a report given by Minor Committee Chairperson Jim McLoughlin at the Club’s Minor Committee end of year Review Meeting on Friday November 17th.
I would like to welcome you all tonight to our annual AGM. This will be my final year to chair the AGM as I am not seeking re-election.
2017 hasn’t seen the club win much silverware, however I believe that the underage structure and club cannot be measured on silverware alone. What we are about, in my opinion, is the participation of the youth of the community in Gaelic Games, ensuring that they play and practice the game in a fun and safe environment, while at the same time learning social and personal skills and the skills of Gaelic Football. Obviously we should also have the aim of winning silverware but our main focus must always be on developing the individual player and teams to their maximum ability and ensuring, where possible, that all players get fair game time, especially in the younger age groups. Overall the objective of the Minor Committee has to be the development of as many players as possible to their maximum potential thereby ensuring that as they progress through the age groups and hopefully on to senior that they have the necessary skills, fitness, physical strength and dedication to be an asset to each team as they progress.
When I look back on 2017 it is heartening to see that we competed at Division 2 level in all age groups and we even managed to have two teams at under 14 level. Competing in Division 2 has to be a positive development for the club, seeing as only a short few years ago we were competing at the lower levels. We were only a kick of a ball away from been Minor Division 2 champions (this year). I would love to see the club go back to the late 90’s and early 00’s and be winning Division 1 titles again. I firmly believe this can be achieved with the coaching structures that are in place, however I believe we all can learn more and we need to be proactive in recruiting and up-skilling new and existing coaches.
At this stage I would like to thank the Managers, Selectors, Coaches and Mentors for their fantastic and unyielding dedication to their teams. To John Kelly, our Coaching Officer, thank you for all your work and I hope that it continues. To Kathleen McCaffrey, for her patience and help during the year – it made my job a lot easier, to Iggy Geraghty and Tamara Beirne, who served with me in my first two years – thank you and also to Peadar McCaffrey for proposing me as Chairman. I would like Peter Carney, our Games Promotion Officer, for running an in-house Level 1 programme two years ago. It was great to see 13 coaches participating and hopefully one can be ran again soon.
Finally I would like to acknowledge the tremendous support of the club executive and senior board have afforded both me and the club if ever advice was sought or an issue needed resolving a solution was always forthcoming.
It is my intention to step down as Minor Committee Chairman after three very enjoyable years, however I am willing to stay on the Elphin-Ballinameen Combination Committee and the Elphin GAA Executive Committee, as an ordinary member, if so elected.
I thank you all very much for your attention and wish you and the club all the very best going forward.