GPA Annual Report 2019
Note from the CEO
2019 was my first full year in the role as CEO of the GPA and what a privilege it has been to work on your behalf. My priority is keeping you at the centre of all our actions and to reinforce our three core pillars of Player Representation, Player Development and Player Welfare. These pillars, with the player at the centre of everything we do, will continue to be our focus.
We believe that we need to work towards building a modern form of sustainable amateurism where you have balance between your playing, personal and professional lives.
National Executive Committee
Dónal Óg Cusack
- Representation on GAA Fixture Review Task Force pushing the GPA priority areas
- Limit multiple eligibility
- A defined off-season for players
- A more defined April club month
- Establishment of focus group of players to engage GAA on Tier Two football championship
- Squad Charter agreements in place for all 67 squads
- Representation on behalf of 25 squads resulting in satisfactory resolution to charter and expense issues
- Publication of second ESRI Report into demands of the inter-county game
- Indecon report commissioned to examine the economic impact of the inter-county game
- Publication of the GPA Student Report
- Four motions passed by AGM delegates
- Integration with the WGPA
- Introduction of a Competitive Balance Policy
- Review of the GAA Concussion Management Guidelines
- Introduction of a standard online expenses system
- Education workshop with 60 GPA squad representatives
Engagement with Athlete Bodies
- Presentation of GPA Rookie Camp at World Players Association Conference Amsterdam
- Representation on World Players Association Steering Committee
- Partner on Erasmus Plus Project to develop international leadership programme
Engagement with Government Bodies
- Collaboration with Road safety Authority on National road safety campaign with 4 national ambassadors
- Development of partnership with Webwise for cyber bullying awareness campaign
- Consultation with committee on communications on anti-hate speech campaign
GPA Student Report
The GPA Student Report was launched on Wednesday 6th November 2019 on the Sport Ireland Sports Campus
It revealed the latest insights into the lives of over a third of GPA members, who are third-level students
63% of the GPA’s student-members are 21 – 24 years of age and 93% are full-time students, and all of them face the specific challenge of managing the demands of being an inter-county player alongside their academic commitments and personal lives
200 sports professionals attended the inaugural GPA Player Welfare Conference. Balance 2020 took place in Croke Park on Saturday 23rd November 2019.
The primary goal was to bring together multidisciplinary sporting professionals within the GAA to discuss emerging paradigms and elite best practice techniques at the forefront of strength, conditioning and sports medicine.
The conference was hosted by the GPA’s Player Safety and Welfare Committee:
Dr Jim O’Donovan
Dr Ciaran McDonald
Dr. Brendan Egan
The first report had looked at the amount of time players dedicate to the inter-county game. The second ESRI report was published in December 2019 following on from the report issued in 2018.
The 2019 report examines a range of other issues relevant to players’ lives, including alcohol consumption, supplement use, their views on player welfare supports and their experiences within the inter-county set-up.
The findings of both of these reports have made a valuable contribution to the evidence base used to inform the development and enhancement of the GPA’s player development and welfare supports.
2019 Welfare Highlights
THE GPA PLAYER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME OFFERS OUR PLAYERS ACCESS TO A BROAD AND DETAILED SUITE OF PROGRAMMES, TO BUILD, DEVELOP & SUSTAIN THEIR HOLSITIC WELLBEING.
IN ADDITION TO THE BATTLES ON THE FIELD, OUR MEMBERS FACE NUMEROUS CHALLENGES OFF IT. ONE OF OUR PRIMARY GOALS IS TO HELP ALL PLAYERS DEVELOP THE SKILLS NEEDED TO THRIVE BOTH AS AN INDIVIDUAL AND AS A PLAYER.
Individual Players Supported
Increase on 2018
2019 Player Development Highlights
Inaugural Linkedin Master Class
GPA Member & LinkedIn employee Ross Bergin delivered a workshop on how to maximise your LinkedIn Profile.
GPA Rookie Camp (First with WGPA)
Over 100 GPA and WGPA members who had recently become part of inter-county panels attended on the Johnstown Estate in Enfield.
Inaugural GPA Transition Camp
The GPA Transition Programme was launched in 2019. A combination of 12 GPA and WGPA retired players took part in the programme.
The programme aims to assist players in preparing for and adjusting to sport transition through a combination of supportive and developmental interventions, extending players career and personal growth beyond their sports environment.
Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme
32 GPA & WPGA graduates from programme
19 GPA and WGPA graduates from the Special Purpose Award in Professional Leadership
Personal Development – Leadership Masterclass
40 players attended a 1 day Leadership Masterclass for GPA and WGPA members who were hoping to take the first step on their leadership journey.
UUJ Mentroing Programme Launched
The Gaelic Players Association (GPA) and Ulster University Jordanstown collaborated to provide bespoke support services for intercounty student players. The partnership sees GPA members and Ulster University graduates link with current GPA student players so that students are supported on issues they face throughout their playing and academic careers.
48 squads were visited in 2019 with GPA supports for players explained
3 regional workshops were organised to outline the role and responsibilities of the rep. In 2019 these took place in Carlow, Belfast and Dublin
5 regional player engagement workshops took place to get players’ opinion on matters of critical importance to them. These took place in Armagh, Athlone, Carlow, Enniskillen and Dublin were led by GPA CEO Paul Flynn.
- Enhanced Scholarships launched a GMIT, Carlow IT, NUIG and UUJ
- Celebrated 10 years of partnership with DCU
- McDonagh, Ring, Rackard and Meagher Roadshow
- Separate joint launch of Ring, Rackard and Meagher competitions with GAA
- Player exclusive app built and launched
- Website overhauled to become more player focussed
- New Head of Communications hired – Kieran McSweeney
Player Alumni – Legends Lunches
For the past 7 years, the GPA have held an annual Former Players Lunch (for hurlers and footballers), honouring the legends of GAA. Due to ever growing popular demand, a second Legends Lunch was introduced in 2019
GPA HURLING LEGENDS LUNCH
400 Hurling Legends attended the inaugural GPA Hurling Legends Lunch in Croke Park on the eve of the All Ireland Hurling Final
GPA FOOTBALL LEGENDS LUNCH
550 Football Legends attended the GPA Football Legends Lunch in Croke Park on the eve of the All Ireland Football Final
PwC All-Stars Hurling team honoured while Seamus Callanan (Tipperary) and Adrian Mullen (Kilkenny) named as the Hurler of the Year and the Young Hurler of the Year
PwC All-Stars Football team honoured while Stephen Cluxton (Dublin) and Seán Ó Sé (Kerry) named as Footballer of the Year and Young Footballer of the Year
The Champions 15 honoured outstanding performances and contributions in the Joe McDonagh, Christy Ring, Lory Meagher and Nicky Rackard Hurling championships.
Paddy Purcell (Laois) Joe McDonagh Player of the Year
Jack Regan (Meath) Christy Ring Player of the Year
Keith Raymond (Sligo) Nicky Rackard Player of the Year
Ronan Crowley (Lancashire) Lory Meagher Player of the Year
In the USA
The GPA is hugely appreciative of the support it has received from the Irish American community in the United States.
These donors have made a direct impact on the lives of inter-county players for which players will eternally grateful.
The money raised by the GPA’s US fundraising programme is used to:
Fund our player development programmes
Fund our joint initiatives with the WGPA
Fund our social outreach programmes
In 2019 successful fundraising events were held in Boston and New York. The highlight was undoubtedly the Super 11 games held in New York’s Citi field Baseball Stadium in November in partnership with the GAA, Fenway Sports Management and Aer Lingus who were again the Official Airline of the event.
Super 11S hurling classic citi field, new york
Kilkenny took home the Players Champions Cup after a four-team tournament involving themselves, Tipperary, Limerick and Wexford
CEO champions lunch Boston
250 attendees heard from keynote speaker Sam Kennedy of the Boston Red Sox and a panel discussion involving top male and female inter-county players
GPA New York Gala
350 attendees came along on the eve of the Super 11s Hurling Classic, for what was the seventh year of this event was on eve of Super 11’s. Seán Mulryan (Ballymore Group) was honoured on the night for his support of players and charities all over Ireland
Golf event & PwC reception San Francisco
Networking event at PwC’s offices in San Jose was followed by a golf event organised in partnership with Fáilte Ireland at TPC Harding Park
The GPA and WGPA partnered with the RSA to promote road safety awareness. The dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and driver fatigue were the initial focusses of the campaign which will run for three years.
Laura Lynn – Children’s Hospice Week
The GPA partnered with Laura Lynn to help launch Children’s Hospice Week. The work carried out by Laura Lynn is vital not only to the children but also to supporting the families in one of the most difficult times they are every likely to face.
The GPA funded the a Webwise Conference promoting responsible and safe behaviour online which was run in conjunction with Gaelic Voices for Change. GAA clubs from all over the country attended.
The World’s Big Sleep Out
The GPA and the WGPA supported The World’s Big Sleep Out which seeks to raise awareness and funds for organisations which support homeless people in our society. Players took part in sleep outs in Dublin and Belfast.
In 2019, we surpassed our strategic goal of delivering 75% of net revenues to Player Development Programmes and Player Welfare.
Government Grants 40%
GAA Core Funding 39%
Membership & Benevolent 1%
Player Development Programmes /Player Welfare 81%
Operating Costs 14%
Other Programmes 3%
Organisational Development 1%
Surplus retained 2%
ACTUAL RESULT: 81%