December 17th, 2019

Owen Mooney from Special Olympics Ireland, is set to deliver a coaching workshop with our club coaches on the 1st of February, and places have been filling up fast. Owen has previously worked with coaches in our county as part of the Ulster GAA and Britain GAA twinning programme. His experience speaks for itself when it comes to coaching children, as you can see from his BIO:

“Owen is currently the National Coach & Sport Development Coordinator for Special
Olympics Ireland, where he is the first point of contact for thirteen National Governing
Bodies. Previous to this role he was the Games Development Officer at the Rockland Gaelic
Athletic Association club in New York, USA. Before his move to New York, Owen was a
Department of Education Physical Literacy Curriculum Coach and Development Officer with
Ulster GAA, working with children from 4-8 years and he was seconded to the position of
Ulster Ladies Gaelic as Provincial Development Officer.
He has a real passion for learning and has a very keen interest in Physical Literacy, Child
Development, Coach Education and assisting sports and clubs implement sustainable
development plans . He is a vastly experienced coach and development officer having worked
with men’s and ladies Gaelic Football teams of all ages, as well as teams in other sports. He
has helped over 40 clubs implement their Strategic Plans within the areas of Coaching &
Games, Governance, Best Practice, Community Engagement, Marketing, Fundraising and
As a Coach Developer, Owen has presented at the GAA National Games Development
Conference in 2011 and 2019, Guest Speaker in Sport & Society at Mercy College New York
in April 2019, 2nd and 3
rd ICCE iCoachKids International Conferences at Leeds Beckett 2018
and Limerick 2019 respectively, 2017 Rockland Physical Education Teacher Conference in
New York, Ulster GAA Coaching & Games Development Conference in 2012 and the UK
National Coaching Conference at Ulster University in 2011.
Owen has also tutored on many Foundation, Award One and Award Two Gaelic Football
courses and works”

Aside from his current role, Owen has recently been delivering on various coaching conferences in Ireland and the UK, whilst also finding the time to deliver in-service training with counties and provinces throughout Ireland.

The workshop title – “Coaching Through Questioning – A Child Centred Approach / Expression & Freedom for Learning & Development – Let Children Be Children” will focus on coaching underage players who are in the child phase of their development (Ages 5-12).

On this topic, Owen explains – “It is vitally important that we as adults allow each child to have the freedom to express themselves when it comes to their learning and development because learning is FUN. Children need to be treated like children and by facilitating a child’s imagination and creativity we are opening up a whole new learning experience for ourselves as coaches, as well as the children. During this interactive workshop, I will be using my practical experiences of working with children to show how adults should trust children for their own learning and development. I will incorporate different learning aids and tools that work extremely well in engaging children during my coaching.”

Owen also had this to say on working with our coaches:

“I cannot wait to work with the coaches again. If it is anything like a few years ago we’re in for a treat. The structures that Hertfordshire GAA have implemented are fantastic in relation to Schools, Club Development and Coach Education. Huge thanks to Stephen Lavery for the invite and for always pushing to improve GAA in Britain.”

We look forward to hosting Owen in the New Year.

For information on our Coach Education Programme, or becoming involved with coaching at our clubs, contact –