Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

GPA has now opened applications for year 3 of this programme. Please find a link to the Programme prospectus here

If you are interested in taking part in the GPA - Jim Madden Leadership Programme in 2017/18 please contact

Programme information

The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme will develop a group of county players from hurling, camogie, Gaelic football – men’s and ladies – with the necessary skills, motivation and experience to become real leaders in the community. 

Many of our Gaelic athletes have exceptional leadership qualities. These skills are honed through the experience and resilience developed as elite players in a highly competitive environment, where high performance is often predicated on the player’s own ability to lead by example encouraging greater levels of performance from team-mates. The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme will now establish a learning pathway for players who wish to develop these qualities which can be harnessed both for their personal development and for the benefit of society.

This Programme is made possible thanks to the support of Michael Madden and his family who are dedicating the new curriculum to the memory of their late father Jim who was a tireless grassroots GAA and community activist in Tipperary. 
Through the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme, the Players Association is now in a position to support the next generation of young leaders – players who are considered to be successful in their lives and careers outside of their sporting endeavours, who understand the importance of civic and social responsibility and can see the benefit of ‘giving back’ in a host of different ways by optimising their status as role models in society.

Using a primary schools network by which the students can execute their new skills, the three-year course will encourage this cohort of young men and women to dream big and think bigger, to be as ambitious for what they can achieve in life away from the playing fields and to go on to do extra-ordinary things which will make a real difference in their own lives and in the lives of people they encounter. 

The first group of participants of this programme have developed, in conjunction with St. Pats College in Drumcondra, 4 SPHE modules that can be delivered to 6th class primary school children. These modules focus on the child's local community and are delivered by the teacher with the assistance of a programme participant. For further information on the Réalta Programme please click here. 

The Programme

A bespoke, one-year blended learning Leadership Course which will be delivered by the Gaelic Players Association in conjunction with independent leadership experts. The Programme, which will run initially for three years, will be divided into four principal modules: 

1. Leadership Masterclass
2. Personal Skills Module
3. Interpersonal Skills Module
4. Group Skills Module

Participants will have a GPA Personal Development Coach assigned to them and will undergo personal development training. Participants will have to design, construct and deliver a community project through the primary schools network.

The Programme has also been endorsed by the Irish Institute for Training & Development :IITD, as the professional body for learning and development in Ireland, is delighted to endorse the GPA – Jim Madden Leadership Programme. The strength of the collaborative approach to building the programme demonstrates excellence, best practice and innovation in the development of leadership competencies. The inclusion of an innovative delivery methodology, including peer learning, knowledge sharing, coaching and mentoring, will successfully support talented individuals to reach their leadership potential. We are confident that successful participation on this programme will enable those individuals to lead others with greater confidence, initiative and commitment in order to achieve greater impact for elite athletes at community level.

To further underpin the success of this Programme the GPA has partnered with Maynooth University to create an accreditation pathway for participants. They will be able to pursue a Special Purpose Award in Professional Leadership which will allow them 10 credits at Level 9. 

For further information on any of the above please contact

Click here for further information on the Réalta Programme 




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