Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

Local Dublin children hone their GAA skills at annual REACH RCSI Sports Day

26 March 2015

Meath GAA (Gaelic Athletic Association) football captain, Donal Keogan and Niall Cooper, Dublin GAA Regional Development Officer put more than 100 local boys and girls from St. Enda's Primary School, Whitefriar Street, Dublin 8 and Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount, Dublin 8 through their paces at a Gaelic football master class as part of the annual REACH (Recreation Education And Community Health) RCSI Sports Day on, Thursday 26th March 2015. The event, hosted by RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), provided a great opportunity for school children aged between 7 to 10 years of age, to develop their GAA skills and get active by taking part in a number of other games and activities.

Meath football captain and RCSI PhD student, Donal Keogan celebrates a win with the red team 
The annual REACH RCSI Sports Day aims to raise awareness and promote life-long recreation and community health. RCSI students and staff volunteer to help run the event, organised by the REACH RCSI Programme, at the College's sports grounds in Dardistown, Swords. The action packed day of events included the GAA skills class, a five-a-side soccer tournament and an obstacle course, along with a range of traditional sports day games including the sack race, egg and spoon races. 

Pictured is Leah Wilson Radley and Kacie McDonald from Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount

Donal brings the red, yellow and orange team through a GAA drill

Maria Kelly, REACH RCSI Manager said, "The REACH Sports Day is a great opportunity for school children get outside, get some fresh air and develop their sports skills in a fun environment, which is a valuable way to encourage lifelong health and well-being. It is fantastic to have the GAA, Donal and local community Gardai Aidan Monaghan & Wayne Careyon on board this year and the children from both schools enjoyed the day. Also by spending a day with RCSI volunteers, some of whom coach and participate in established RCSI sports teams, encourages young people in our community to develop a greater interest in sport and health, which is one of the main objectives of the REACH programme." 

Owen from the black team wins the sack race as his teammates celebrate

Speaking on of the REACH Sports Day Niall Cooper, brother of Dublin GAA's Johnny Cooper said "The GAA always has community and inclusiveness at its core. Joining your local GAA club is a great opportunity to learn new skills, make friends, keep fit and generally have a great time. Participation and ensuring everybody gets a game is also at the heart of everything we do so lack of experience or skill should not discourage any boy or girl from trying out our national games with your local club." 

Pictured (l-r) are Allanah Kely and Mya Grey-McCluskey from Presentation Primary School, Warrenmount try out the space hoppers

The REACH RCSI Programme is a Community Outreach and Access programme at RCSI. The initiative is aimed at encouraging and facilitating third level participation and enhancing life chances for those traditionally underrepresented at third level, particularly those from Dublin's South Inner City. 

Pictured is Charlie Lee from St. Enda's Primary School, Whitefriar Street, Dublin taking part in the sack race

RCSI is among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.