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Another Fantastic Year For Tipperary Cumann na mBunscol by Aodan Wrenn Secretary Tipperary Cumann na mBunscol.

posted 8 Jun 2011, 14:22 by Unknown user

This has been another fantastic year for Tipperary Allianz Cumann na mBunscol. The season started with the Allianz Cumann na mBunscol Football Championships in September 2010. We had 21 County Finals played out on the one day, at 3 different venues on November 18th 2010. There were 9 Under 13 Football Finals, 4 Under 11 Football Finals, 4 Under 13 Ladies Football Finals and 4 Under 11 Ladies Football Finals. The Finals were a great success. We had over 110 schools competing in football this year, and all schools were happy with the Competition.

After Christmas we held Indoor Hurling and Camogie Blitzes throughout the whole county. In each division we held blitzes throughout the first week in February. The GDA's helped us greatly with co-ordinating and running the blitzes. This year's concept was the most successful in our history. Over 140 schools took part in the Festival off Indoor hurling and camogie. Every single school got a plaque for partaking. Every single school was delighted with how everything went. The object of the operation was that participation was the key. Each team got a minimum of three games in the blitz and all subs had to play in each game. Winning wasn't as important as participating. There were no trophies for winning but there was a trophy for everyone who participated. It was an extremely successful event. We hope to run it again, in the very near future.

We ran INTO Mini Sevens Football and Ladies Football Competitions after this. There was an increase in the numbers entering in both competitions. We were up by 10 in the girls and by 16 in the boys. That is very good to see. The competitions went very well. The schools were very happy. That’s what we want to see: schools enjoying playing the games, the children enjoying playing the games and everyone co-operating to ensure the competitions run smoothly.

In the INTO Mini Sevens Hurling and Camogie there was an increase of 12 in the number of Camogie teams entering, and an increase of 10 the number of hurling teams. This year we put the emphasis on enjoyment, ahead of competition. We set up blitzes in a Festival Of Hurling format, and the schools really enjoyed the fare.

We did the biggest review in our history of the Under 13 Hurling gradings. We feel we came up with a very fair gradings system and the vast majority of schools were happy with their gradings.

In handball we had a huge increase in the number of schools entering. This increase led to a very enjoyable and competitive handball competition. Sincere thanks to Paddy Collins for helping to co-ordinate the handball competition.

In Under 13 hurling we had over 120 schools partaking and over 60 in Camogie Under 13. Both competitions went very well. The standard of hurling at this level is really good. We will run the Camogie and Hurling County Finals in Semple Stadium, on June 14th and 15th. There will be 8 finals in Under 13 Hurling, and 5 Finals in Under 13 Camogie. Last year we had 7 in Under 13 Hurling and 4 in Under 13 Camogie. Another increase!

Finally, following the guidelines from Croke Park about the abolition of competition for Under 12 and Under 11 players, we changed the format for our Under 11 Hurling and Camogie competitions. We set up a new model to work with. We named our model the Under 11 Go Games Festival of Hurling and Camogie. We set up blitzes throughout the county. We set up new grades so schools could enter a second team. The rules were that you could only catch the ball once, there was no soloing and the team numbers would be reduced (11 a side being the maximum on a team).There was to be a max of 4 subs and each sub must play at least a half of every game. The demand from schools for this format was incredible. Last year 50 schools entered the Under 11 hurling competition. This year 83 schools entered the Under 11 Festival of Hurling. Last year 18 schools entered under 11 camogie. This year 54 schools entered the Festival of camogie. Those numbers are incredible!

All schools have stated that they love the new system and have enjoyed it immensely. We will be concluding the Festival with matches in Semple Stadium next week. The opportunity to play in Semple Stadium is fantastic for children so young. There will be 13 matches in the Stadium at Under 11 level, and this is an increase of 5 under the previous system. That means more schools than ever will get an opportunity to play in the Cathedral of Hurling, and that is what we wanted to achieve. In fact this year we have a number of schools playing for the first time ever in the Stadium. The object of the exercise is fun, enjoyment, participation, improving the skills and getting more players to play for longer than before. We have given everything we have as an organisation to the new concept and are very happy that we have a system the envy of the rest of the country. The matches in the Stadium will be geared towards enjoyment and not winning. The mentors will have to wear Respect bibs from the Respect initiative, as part of our efforts to ensure that young children gain a healthy respect for referees and officials. Sincere thanks to all the GDAs for helping us run the Go Games Blitzes.

Our aims with the Under 11 Festival of Hurling were: to significantly increase the number of schools who get to play in Semple Stadium, significantly increase the amount of children who get meaningful game time (entering two teams helped this) and ensure all the children enjoyed the games. We achieved all those aims.

So all in all it has been a fantastic year for Tipperary Allianz Cumann na mBunscol. Thanks to all the officers for their great work, and all the teachers for their fantastic co-operation.