The Engineers Ireland STEPS programme and Gaelic Players Association team up to launch Game of the Future competition


New survey finds 80% of public believe engineering a rewarding career choice for young people

The Engineers Ireland STEPS programme and Gaelic Players Association team up to launch Game of the Future competition ahead of Engineers Week 2022

28 February 2022: Students all over the country are being challenged by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme and the Gaelic Players Association (GPA) to engineer how Gaelic Games will look by the year 2050.

The all-Ireland competition, ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’, has been launched today by Chartered Engineer Tom Parsons, CEO of the GPA, and Gaelic stars Neil McManus and Mary Ryan, and aims to encourage students to bring their problem-solving, creative and communication skills to the world of sport and to engineer a futuristic vision of Gaelic Games.

The initiative, to mark the 16th annual STEPS Engineers Week, was launched as a new Behaviour & Attitudes survey shows that 80% of the public see engineering as a rewarding career choice for young people.

Beginning nationwide this Saturday, 5 March and running until Friday, 11 March, STEPS Engineers Week 2022 will once again celebrate, promote, and showcase the creative and diverse world of engineering to students, teachers, and families across Ireland.

Speaking ahead of STEPS Engineers Week, GPA CEO, Engineers Ireland STEPS Ambassador and Chartered Engineer, Tom Parsons, said: “Engineering is not only critically important to society’s sustainable progress, it is also at the forefront of advances in the sports we love. Whether it’s equipment that keeps us safe when we play sport, technologies that analyse our sporting performance, or environmentally-friendly ‘smart’ stadiums that harness AI to help fans enjoy the match-day experience, engineering is at the core of it all. In fact, my own knee was reconstructed from grafted ligaments from other parts of my body through a remarkably innovative feat of medtech engineering!

“Engineers are the problem solvers to the great challenges our society faces, and I strongly encourage the creative students of Ireland to take part in the ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ competition and tell us their visions and ideas for our great Gaelic Games. Part of STEPS Engineers Week 2022 which kicks off on 5 March, this competition is another example of the incredibly diverse nature of modern engineering and highlights the exciting opportunities that a career in the area can offer,” he added.

“Engineers in Ireland have never been more in demand,” Caroline Spillane, Engineers Ireland Director General commented. “Skills in engineering can foster incredibly exciting and diverse career paths as Tom’s own journey has shown. Engineers are vital to Ireland’s progress in virtually every societal area, from digital to medical, infrastructure to environmental advances. STEPS Engineers Week will encourage students and families all around Ireland to support, embrace and participate in the numerous week-long activities and events taking place during this year’s campaign. The Week offers a fantastic opportunity for the public to see first-hand the wonderful ways Irish engineers are pushing the limits of ingenuity, creativity and innovation and I would urge companies, schools, local authorities and communities to get involved in the week to inspire Ireland’s next generation of problem-solving engineers,” Ms Spillane added.

The ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ competition begins with a challenge video brought to students by Celebrity Scientist, TV Host and former professional footballer Mark Langtry, Head of Science and Sport at Explorium. In the challenge video, Mark meets with STEPS Ambassador and Chartered Engineer, Tom Parsons, CEO of Gaelic Players Association, Mary Ryan, Tipperary Camogie All-Star and Process Development Engineer at Boston Scientific and Neil McManus, Antrim Hurler and Product Manager at Andor Technology. The video will inspire and guide competition entrants, who then use their ingenuity to create and submit ideas and innovations about how the world of Gaelic Games could look like in 2050.

There are two separate competition categories for primary and secondary school students to enter before the deadline of Friday, 25 March 2022. The entries will then be judged by a panel of experts including Engineers Ireland members and players from the Gaelic Players Association. Prizes include GPA Corporate Box tickets for a major 2022 match, a day out in Croke Park and a virtual meeting with a Gaelic hero of choice.

Now in its 16th year, STEPS Engineers Week is an annual campaign to inspire the next generation of engineers and excite students about the possibilities a career in engineering can offer. STEPS Engineers Week is coordinated by Engineers Ireland’s STEPS programme – funded by the Department of Education and industry leaders Arup, the EPA, ESB, Intel and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Highlights of this year’s campaign include the launch of Engineers Ireland’s annual Engineering Barometer report which tracks developments in engineering education, employment and perspectives, Engineering Family Fairs, a Guidance Counsellor webinar and accessible engineering resources and activities, including sustainable engineering challenges, heritage trails, quizzes and a new engineering resource for children with autism by primary school teacher and blogger, Múinteoir Valerie.

To find out more details about the ‘Engineer the Game of the Future’ competition please visit:

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