Over the past few months, Na Magha CLG have been hosting a group of young sports enthusiasts from Foyle Down Syndrome, a local charity, to demonstrate the basics of hurling.
The city club’s Under 8s train every Saturday morning at Páirc Na Magha but the numbers have been greatly boosted since January by the group who are interested in learning more about the sport.
The project was introduced by a local worker at Foyle Down Syndrome, Brónagh McCarron, who also has a strong passion for hurling.
Speaking about the project, Brónagh said, “This project came about because I’m currently working with Foyle Down Syndrome and am also studying a Sport, Physical Activity and Health Degree and because of the connection I have with the sport, I wanted to give the children the opportunity to experience hurling!”
Brónagh contacted Na Magha Under 8 coach James Walsh who was more than happy to participate and alongside Gerry Matthews, Denis Doherty, Sean Mellon and other Na Magha volunteers, all came together to organise it.
On the first day of training, the new participants from Foyle Down Syndrome received a huge welcome from the young Na Magha players and from that day they’ve continued that special bond.
“Following a chat with Brónagh and other at Foyle Down Syndrome, we thought it would be a great opportunity for Na Magha,” explained James.
The Na Magha players have also donated hurls and helmets to their visitors to ensure they had the correct equipment, ensuring the young participants from Foyle Down Syndrome had a fantastic experience.
“The project wasn’t just organised to introduce hurling to the kids, it was also to provide experience for working in a team, to encourage listening skills, encourage speech and language skills, make new friends and most importantly to have fun,” added Bronagh.
To end the first term, a big match has been organised for Saturday (June 16th) at Páirc Na Magha in Ballyarnett. The Under 8 Na Magha team will be playing the new Hurlers and Camogs of Foyle Down Syndrome Trust in a friendly from 11:30am-12pm with a presentation afterwards.
Everyone is more than welcome to attend.