The Vhi sponsored Cúl Camps have again kicked into full swing this summer. Now in their second year these GAA coaching camps, which had been run across the country by individual club units since the 1980s, are nationally coordinated by the GAA. White’s Cross GAA recently ran their Vhi Cúl Camp at the Upper Glanmire Community Centre, White’s Cross. A sell out crowd of over ninety boys and girls, between the ages of five and thirteen years of age, attended the week long course.
Coaches at this year’s camp included Síle Burns, Emer Watson, Eoin Murnane, Brendáin Murnane, Jonathan Kenneally, Paul Harte, Gemma Donohoe and Conor Kelleher all of who are qualified GAA coaches. These coaches were assisted by a back-up team of Mary Barry, Caitriona Harte, John Ramsay, Ruairi Murnane, Seamus Reid and Aoibhne McElhinney. Síle Burns and Emer Watson, the former a member of the local ladies club Rockbán, are members of the Cork Senior Camogie panel and White’s Cross GAA was delighted to welcome them onto our coaching staff this year.
Each day the coaches and their assistants strived to develop new skills in a fun and enjoyable way – even if the weather was not as kind to us this year as others! Participants later used mini-games to exhibit the learned skill from the earlier session. In the second half of the day participants then switched games and those that played football in the morning kitted out in their helmet and hurley and vice-versa.
As part of the Vhi sponsorship of the Cúl Camps, each participant received a trendy jersey, shorts, socks and kit bag on the second day of the camp. The fluid bottle also included in the kit bag should have proven more useful during the course of the week only that the sun did not shine as brightly as hoped!
White’s Cross GAA is very grateful to the Upper Glanmire Community Association for the use of its facilities for the week. The Club also thanks all who provided support of one form or another to make this Camp the success it was.
Over the years a key highlight of the White’s Cross camps has always been the visits of inter-county GAA stars. In past years inter-county hurlers Alan Browne, Joe Deane, Tom Kenny, and even Clare captain Frank Lohan have visited the White’s Cross venue, while Graham Canty, Micheál O Cróinín and James Masters represented the Cork footballers. This year was no different and was again a great place to be for the autograph hunters! Having given camogie stars Emer and Síle first refusal on their new jerseys, the children queued on the Wednesday afternoon for the signature of Ladies Football star Valerie Mulcahy. On Thursday morning Cork football’s All-Star midfielder Nicholas Murphy encouraged an attentive audience to practice the skills regularly and spoke of the importance of small Club units, such as White’s Cross, to the GAA association. On the final day, Cork’s hurling captain, Kieran Murphy (Erin’s Own) stopped off to see how his cousin Peter Twomey was faring at the camp in White’s Cross, and he also gave sound advice to the large attendance!
In a time when there is much attention on the amateur – professional debate in the GAA, it is very heartening to see these stars give of their time and energy so generously to the promotion of our games at the grass-roots level. Well done Valerie, Nicholas and Kieran!
The White’s Cross GAA summer programme for boys and girls from 5 to 11 years of age continues each Friday evening with training at the White’s Cross GAA grounds from 6:30 to 7:30pm. It is the ideal opportunity to meet up with friends and to practice the skills. New members are always welcome.