The Madden Family extends its support for the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme

New Funding will ensure that the Programme will continue for 10 years until 2024

The Gaelic Players Association is delighted to announce that the Madden Family has pledged their support for the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme for a further 2-years.  The GPA’s flagship programme has seen over 220 inter-county players male and female from 33 counties develop their leadership skills since its inception in 2015.  This announcement will see the Madden Family continue to support this hugely successful programme up to its 10th anniversary and will mean almost 300 players will have benefitted from that support over the course of a decade.

The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme was developed specifically with a focus on three core attributes:

  1. Male and female representation from all counties across Ireland, promoting equal access and diversity.
  2. The delivery of community-based projects by the programme participants to educate and highlight the importance of community leaders.
  3. Develop community leaders that will have an impact on the leadership of our Gaelic Games and society.

It was the very first GPA programme that brought together male and female players and its community outreach has delivered programmes to over four thousand primary school students and, through the Réalta programme, allowed thousands more transition year students participate in a virtual conference.

The GPA Jim Madden Leadership Programme sees students paired with a professional life coach with whom they work to address their individual development needs.  Participants gain skills which they can draw on in their personal, sporting, and professional lives.

It has been identified as a leading athlete programme by EU Athletes.  They have used it as the model for their own leadership programme, PROLead.   This project was developed and rolled out to other European player athlete associations in 2021 and 2022.

It has been made possible through the support of Michael Madden and his family from Portroe, Tipperary who have dedicated the programme to the memory of their late father Jim, who was a tireless grassroots GAA, senior coach and community activist in Tipperary.

Currently, twenty-eight inter-county players are undertaking the programme and are due to graduate in early 2023 when the next cohort of participants will take up their places.

Speaking to mark the announcement, on behalf of the Madden Family, Michael Madden said; “The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme is very close to our hearts as it honours the memory of my father and his love of sport in particular camogie and hurling. More importantly, it promotes the values that he held so dear such as working to make your community a better place and being willing to help others achieve their potential.

“That is why the Réalta programme and the other community-based programs develop by the Jim Madden Leadership participants are so important as players help to develop future leaders in their own communities.

“We are delighted to continue to partner with the GPA in making a meaningful difference in the lives of all players.”

GPA CEO Tom Parsons added; “Why are places on the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme so sought after?  The answer to that is straight forward.  It is the testimonials and recommendations of those players who have undertaken the programme that attracts others.  Players trust their peers and they believe them when they say that the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme has changed their lives. 

“That is why, on behalf of players, I want to say a heartfelt thank you to each and every member of the Madden Family for their continued support. You have made, and continue to make, a massive positive impact of the lives of players, the value of which is incalculable.”

Since 2015, the Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme has continued to grow and evolve. In 2021 and 2022 an online leadership summit has been added where over 5,000 Transition Year students have logged on to talks and panel discussions delivered in the main by graduates of the programme.

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