Author Topic: Is there a future for small rural clubs?  (Read 1293 times)

LooseCannon

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 639
    • View Profile
    • http://www.uibhfhaili.com/
Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« on: July 11, 2019, 11:09:20 PM »
From a thread that Iíve started on uibhfhaili.com.

Just saw that Edenderryís junior team received a walkover from Clonmore Harps, having got one from Ballyfore the week before, with neither side being able to field teams.
Itís a sad sight. I wouldnít know too much about either, but I get the impression that mere existence is becoming challenging.
Unfortunately, things arenít looking to positive into the future for small rural clubs. In a few years time, we realistically could be down 4 or 5 clubs in quick succession.
This is happening all over the country. Meanwhile, the GAA seem content with the Super 8s and donít give a tuppenny about the grassroots.

Just my few thoughts. Feel free to throw in your own thoughts. Iím just vexed with the GAA, standing idly by as clubs are falling into the abyss of non existence, day by day


Apologies for initiating this amidst the super 8s, but Iím bloody well pissed off.

sligoman2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 987
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2019, 11:16:46 PM »
What exactly can the gaa do?  Is the reason for player shortfall due to emigration or lads pissed off with the uncertainty with the club scene.  In fairness the gaa have tried to help improve the scheduling issue in most cases.
I used to be indecisive but now I'm not too sure.

manfromdelmonte

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2703
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2019, 11:32:51 PM »
We need full time rural GAA development officers with a rural development plan

maximise playing numbers at underage level in conjunction with schools
there's a growing disconnect in many places between the rural GAA club and the local school and families.


look at playing numbers and decide on amalgamations both at underage and adult level
run tournaments and appropriate competitions if clubs have smaller numbers
15 v 15 doesn't have to be the model for clubs to play

thewobbler

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3900
    • View Profile
    • Balllyholland Harps GAC
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2019, 11:44:29 PM »
The easy out is to blame the GAA.

Was chatting to a mate from another club recently; one of those clubs that traditionally farm from one primary school, with a handful of outliers to bolster the numbers.

Thereís only 7 boys in his 8 year oldís primary school class, and a similar number the school year below.

The only way his lad is going to grow up playing Gaelic Games is in amalgamation teams. Thatís not the GAAís fault.

Substandard

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 23
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2019, 11:59:49 PM »
Planning restrictions are going to finish a lot of smaller rural gaa clubs.  In the underage championships, Division 1 is mainly big traditional clubs that have strong numbers, with maybe one or two amalgamations/ combination teams.  As you go through Divisions 2 and 3, it's the opposite- maybe one or two stand-alone teams, and the rest are combined.  To be fair to any of the combined teams I've come across, it's not like they are picking the best 15 players and leaving 18 or 19 on the bench.  They simply couldn't function as a stand-alone entity.
The GAA landscape across rural Ireland will eventually mirror successive government dismantling of rural Ireland.  First Garda stations, then post offices.  Guaranteed next up will be primary schools.  It's sad and worrying when you think about it.  I'm sure plenty will say suck it up, that's progress, and efficiency, and it's not feasible to to keep these kind of services open across the country, etc, etc.  Maybe they're right, but I grew up in the country.  It's home.  I got an education, I got a job away from home, I've lived in the city, I've lived in the town, but the last few years I've moved home and commute to work, and do a bit to help out at home.  Some day, please God, I'll be married and have kids, and I'd want them to grow up in the country.  I'd like for them to play with the local club, even if they'd be playing u16 at 12, just to make up the numbers as we've had to already.  But I fear that by the time all that comes to pass, our club will be no more.

Rossfan

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 15456
  • Ballaghaderreen CO ROSCOMMON
    • View Profile
    • Roscommon County Board official website
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #5 on: July 12, 2019, 12:00:43 AM »
As loose might be aware there are several underage amalgamations in Roscommon including a three club one in the North.
Unless jobs move to small towns and consequently people move to or remain  in those towns or adjoining villages and country places the amalgamation trend will continue and become permanent at adult level too.
Whatever about the odd County lad you're not going to see club lads declaring for their parent's home places.
1 BIG CUP and 1 Cupeen so far....

Ball Hopper

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1183
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #6 on: July 12, 2019, 01:48:56 AM »
Areas of South Kerry now have three clubs combined to field a minor team.

thejuice

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 6451
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #7 on: July 12, 2019, 04:39:02 AM »
Rural Clubs around eastern Meath near the commuter belt are doing ok. Theyíre getting a boost from families moving there that donít want to live in the bigger towns like Ashbourne, Rathoath, Dunboyne or Dunseaghlan. But go to north Meath and itís a different story.
It won't be the next manager but the one after that Meath will become competitive again - MO'D 2016

Farrandeelin

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 10397
  • Hey buckaroo! How are you?
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #8 on: July 12, 2019, 07:39:17 AM »
Myriad of Mayo teams amalgamating at underage. What remains of their adult teams in 20 years remains to be seen. We already have Hollymount-Carramore formed from such an amalgamation.

Erris St. Pats- Kiltane/Ballycroy.
Ardmoy - Ardagh/Moygownagh
Naomh PŠdraig - Ballycastle/Killala/Kilfian/Lacken

That's North Mayo alone.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 07:46:09 AM by Farrandeelin »
The woman in red has the car parked on the slope.

macdanger2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #9 on: July 12, 2019, 08:51:42 AM »
Myriad of Mayo teams amalgamating at underage. What remains of their adult teams in 20 years remains to be seen. We already have Hollymount-Carramore formed from such an amalgamation.

Erris St. Pats- Kiltane/Ballycroy.
Ardmoy - Ardagh/Moygownagh
Naomh PŠdraig - Ballycastle/Killala/Kilfian/Lacken

That's North Mayo alone.

I think there might be 5 clubs in NPs Farr? Not sure who the 5th is though

It comes down to jobs - there are none in many of these areas so rather than commuting, people choose to live closer to where they're likely to find work. As a result, there are no young families in these areas and no children - I was talking to the public health nurse for the Ballycastle area and she's had one child born so far this year in her area so it's only going one way

shark

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1099
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2019, 09:29:37 AM »
Rural Clubs around eastern Meath near the commuter belt are doing ok. Theyíre getting a boost from families moving there that donít want to live in the bigger towns like Ashbourne, Rathoath, Dunboyne or Dunseaghlan. But go to north Meath and itís a different story.

Similar enough in Westmeath, in that the clubs growing fastest in underage numbers are the rural clubs close to large towns. The Downs, Shandonagh (both on edge of Mullingar), Caulry (Athlone), and Kinnegad (Dublin!), have been the top underage clubs in the past 5/6 years. Outstripping the 4 Mullingar-Athlone town teams.
However, just like you say in North Meath, if you move to the more remote parts of the county there are clubs struggling massively. The reality is there are less kids living in these places than once was the case. Amalgamations have been necessary at underage for a long time, but may be needed at adult level in time. Any positive changes the GAA could make (some mentioned above) would only slow the change, rather than prevent it.

Dinny Breen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9555
  • I will repair to the Curragh of Kildare
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2019, 09:58:17 AM »
It's not just about rural depopulation, it's a societal issue. Kids have so much choice, it's no longer your GAA or soccer choice or even rugby. Kids now have dozens of sports to choose from, they have video consoles, laptops/PCs/tablets/mobile phones, throw in various youth clubs etc. Most households have 2 cars so travel restriction is not an issue every alternative is out there.
« Last Edit: July 12, 2019, 11:21:11 AM by Dinny Breen »
#newbridgeornowhere

macdanger2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4245
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2019, 10:36:06 AM »
It's not about rural depopulation, it's a societal issue. Kids have so much choice, it's no longer your GAA or soccer choice or even rugby. Kids now have dozens of sports to choose from, they have video consoles, laptops/PCs/tablets/mobile phones, throw in various youth clubs etc. Most households have 2 cars so travel restriction is not an issue every alternative is out there.

Maybe not in Kildare but it certainly is in Mayo

Dinny Breen

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 9555
  • I will repair to the Curragh of Kildare
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2019, 11:21:44 AM »
It's not about rural depopulation, it's a societal issue. Kids have so much choice, it's no longer your GAA or soccer choice or even rugby. Kids now have dozens of sports to choose from, they have video consoles, laptops/PCs/tablets/mobile phones, throw in various youth clubs etc. Most households have 2 cars so travel restriction is not an issue every alternative is out there.

Maybe not in Kildare but it certainly is in Mayo

sorry meant not just, of course rural depopulation is a massive factor.
#newbridgeornowhere

Lar Naparka

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4211
  • I just know this is gonna be our year!
    • View Profile
Re: Is there a future for small rural clubs?
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2019, 11:56:10 AM »
It's not just about rural depopulation, it's a societal issue. Kids have so much choice, it's no longer your GAA or soccer choice or even rugby. Kids now have dozens of sports to choose from, they have video consoles, laptops/PCs/tablets/mobile phones, throw in various youth clubs etc. Most households have 2 cars so travel restriction is not an issue every alternative is out there.
I think itís both. Dinny. Youíll find societal change everywhere, even in Dublin and the larger urban centres, but rural depopulation adds to the problem in the more isolated regions, like along the western seaboard.
From a GAA point of view, both issues spell disaster and unless there are radical changes to reflect those trends, the association will be in serious trouble.
Dublin doesnít have rural depopulation to contend with but the changing lifestyles of kids is the biggest problem here.
Dublin GAA is under as much threat, if not more, than any other parts of the country as the counter attractions for children in the capital are more numerous and more easily available.
Pumping money into Dublin is like sticking plasters on the Titanic- well- intentioned but ultimately useless.
But, to stay with the topic, rural clubs are hemorrhaging numbers and the evidence is clear to be seen. Amalgamation is a help but isnít practical in all cases and at best can only slow the process down but canít halt it.
Nil Carborundum Illegitemi