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629 players supported by the GPA in first half of 2020

629 players supported by the GPA in first half of 2020

629 individual inter-county players have been supported by the Gaelic Players’ Association’s (GPA) Player Development Programmes in the first six months of 2020.  The number represents an 8% increase on the number that availed of the programmes for the same period in 2019.

That means that on average over 100 players per month have benefitted from the services on offer from the players’ body.  Of the 629 players who received support, 608 are current players while 21 are former players.

These figures come off the back of the record number of individual players who were supported by the GPA in 2019.  The GPA’s Annual Report, which was published on Wednesday, July 29th, detailed that 1,448 players had availed of its support.  That was up 31% on 2018.

Ian Reeves, Player Development Officer at the GPA, commented; “The increase in these figures can be attributed to many factors but certainly the fact that players had more time to think about their personal and professional development during the Covid-19 lockdown has played a part. 

“So too have the specific programmes developed by the GPA to support players during the crisis such as the Time 2 Thrive webinar series and the Mental Fitness and Wellbeing webinar series.

Cork hurler Eoin Cadogan is one of the players who have reached out for support so far in 2020.  Speaking about that support he said; “During these unknown and uncertain times, I reached out to the GPA coaching programme to assess my current business model and discuss further developing it, and my professional career. The conversation with Ian was an eye opener in the process needed to progress my business to the next level. I would recommend all members to avail of this service.”

Those were sentiments echoed by Armagh footballer Aidan Forker; “This time of lockdown has afforded many of us the time to reflect on ourselves personally, professionally, everything really. To me, reflecting is useless without the action that comes after it. I decided to be proactive and made a cold call to Ian about furthering my professional credentials.  I was thinking about a Masters for some time and always intended on doing it, so I thought, if not now, when? This lockdown is a time of opportunity to develop myself off the pitch, and my Masters has now begun and I’m on the road I want to be on. Thanks to Ian and GPA for the support and guidance!”

Limerick hurler Dan Morrissey is another who has benefitted from the GPA’s support this year.  He commented; “These times of reduced training schedules is an ideal time to reach out to the GPA and utilise some of the various services they offer. The conversation I had with Ian was extremely beneficial and we discussed ways of further developing my professional career and other life goals. Thanks to Ian and the GPA for the support and I would definitely recommend it to all members.” 

The GPA offers a wide and varied suite of programmes to its members to support their educational, professional and personal development as well as to protect their wellbeing.  These vary from Financial Consultation and Business Development services to Counselling services for those facing crisis situations.

Paul Flynn, GPA CEO said; “Our aim is to help players thrive on and off the field.  Our Personal Development Programmes are designed and tailored to meet the needs to inter-county players and it is satisfying to see such high engagement levels in the first half of 2020.

“It’s a sign that players are considering the bigger picture and not solely focusing on their on-field activities.”

Members who wish to avail of any of the support on offer from the GPA should contact ian@gaelicplayers.com.


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