GPA All-Ireland Youth Leadership Conference 2022

5,000 Students take part in the GPA All-Ireland Youth Leadership Conference

Over 5,000 students from schools all across the 32 counties today took part in the second annual GPA All-Ireland Youth Leadership Conference this morning.  The online event, which was hosted by RTÉ’s Marty Morrissey and Marie Crowe, heard from variety of speakers on topics including Leadership, Resilience and Equality.

The opening address was delivered by Minister for Sport Jack Chambers who said he hoped that the event can grow into the future and become a permanent fixture in the GPA calendar.  He also spoke of the importance of the themes which were covered at the conference and how they relate directly to his role in aiming to grow participation in sport and remove restrictions to anyone getting involved.

The students also heard from:

  • GPA CEO Tom Parsons and Irish Times Sports Journalist and Disability Activist Joanne O’Riordan who spoke about Building Resilience through Adversity and Diversity
  • Tyrone All-Ireland winner Conor Meyler joined his fellow county woman Gemma Begley, the GPA’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager to discuss Equality in Sport
  • Tipperary camogie star and recently voted All-Australian after an outstanding season with the Brisbane Lions in the Women’s Australian Football League Orla O’Dwyer spoke on the topic of Leadership and what it means to her
  • Jennifer Rogers and Ian Reeves who head up the GPA’s BEO360 player development programmes touched on the areas of Unconscious Bias and Coping Strategies
  • Dublin camogie star Aisling Maher who spoke about Being Your Whole Self

The keynote speaker at the event was Beth Moses from Virgin Atlantic.  Beth spoke about her journey to becoming a Commercial Astronaut and Chief Astronaut Instructor for the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo Program.  Among her career highlights was being one of the team that designed and engineered the International Space Station.

The event was produced by StreamTech and was organised and led by the GPA’s Education & Events Manager Karen Thorpe.  She commented; “This is the second year of the GPA All-Ireland Youth Leadership Conference and it is fantastic to see students from all 32 counties taking part.  I want to thank each and every one of those students and their teachers as the conference could not have been the success it was without them.

“Thank you too to all the speakers including Minister for Sport Jack Chambers and also to Beth Moses for taking time from their busy schedules to join us.

“A special thanks as well to Mike Madden.  The Madden family sponsor the GPA’s flagship programme the GPA Jim Madden Leadership Programme in honour of their father Jim who was a tireless grassroots GAA and community activist in Tipperary.  We wouldn’t have had Beth with us today without Mike’s support.”

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