Friday, 7 December 2012

TY GAA Reach Programme

The Transition Years spent a very worthwhile day in Bellefield GAA Complex recently as they completed their TY GAA Reach Programme. All the boys thoroughly enjoyed their time interacting and listening to the various specialists in the workshops - Alcohol Awareness, Meditation, Mental Health, Caman Abu and Peil Abu.
However, first up for the boys who were joined by students from Enniscorthy and Gorey was an introductory talk by Paudie Butler who was aided by a powerpoint presentation with images to back up his thoughts.
He started with a picture of a huge heard of wildebeest crossing the Mara river in Africa. One million of these animals have to cross this river each year in order to survive. 99% make it. The others get caught by the hungry crocodiles that are at the river waiting for them. Mr. Butler told the gathering that their crocodiles are alcohol and drugs.
He spoke about the infinite capacity of the mind. “You have great ability; believe in it and in yourselves. Your biggest challenge is to be yourself every day. The whole world is trying to turn you into a copy of someone.
“Me, your family and your teachers are stepping stones to help you cross the river and avoid the crocodiles. This is our job as adults and it’ll be your job as adults in thirty year’s time.”
He continued: “The quality of life we have emerges from our understanding and practise of self-esteem. The way we see ourselves is the way we will be.”
Mr. Butler finished to a rousing applause from the large attendance and then the boys were split up into groups of five and went to the various workshops which lasted thirty minutes each.
Clodagh Comiskey spoke to the boys about the benefits of proper exercise, proper diet, relaxation, sleep and rest and cautioned about the “weapons of mass distraction”. “Real relaxation is relaxing the mind and the body,” said Ms Comiskey.
The boys also learning about the important of proper breathing and the many benefits of positive thinking. “Toxic chemicals are released when the body is stressed. When you think positively higher emotions are experienced.”
Denis O’Connor informed the boys that students “who are physically active for more than two hours per week show improved attention and behaviour in school.” He spoke of the importance of building confidence which in turn leads to a reduction in self-destructive behaviour.
Sport was identified as something which “often produces leaders in communities. Picture of local sports stars such as Matty Forde, Gordon Darcy and Kevin Doyle were shown on the screen and the boys asked would they know them if they weren’t involved in sport.
Kevin Waters ran the Alcohol Awareness workshop and presented the boys with information about the dangers of alcohol and cautioned them about the ill effects alcohol can have on themselves and their loved ones.
The boys also spent time out on the back pitch in Bellefield under the supervision of the Full-Time Wexford Coaches playing and enjoying Peil Abu and Caman Abu.  

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