Make Caherlohan the long-term headquarters of Clare GAA among the recommendations of the strategic plan

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* Photography: John Mangan

County GAA clubs have received the finalized five-year strategic plan for Clare GAA.

Two separate documents that total 169 pages were sent to clubs via Clare GAA secretary Pat Fitzgerald on Wednesday at lunchtime.

Compiled by the Strategic Planning Group (SPG) since the first week of March this year from an initial proposal by Niall O’Connor of Éire Óg, the recommendation report is to be presented for adoption at a congress special next month. Once approved, it will move into an implementation phase, for which a timetable has also been drawn up by the SPG.

SPG President Enda Connolly noted that Clare GAA is now operating in a new environment with changing social and demographic trends, changing expectations of players and supporters, a continued need for qualified underage coaching, opportunities commercialization and an increased media profile. .

Connolly was joined on the SPG by Eoin Conroy, Eoin Doohan, Conor Gilligan, Roisin Glynn, Colin Kelly, Kieran Keating, Mark O’Connell and Enda O’Flaherty.

500 survey submissions were made by Clare GAA club members and the public while over 100 one-on-one interviews and consultations took place as part of the preparation of the report. 35 GAA clubs in the county made submissions while the group had 30 focus groups with different clubs.

“Significant work” is needed to improve the Association’s governance structures, the report noted, while a recognized key strength was that it did not have significant debts.

23 percent of the public polled said that business development of Clare GAA should be the second priority after governance. On top of that, 29% of clubs made it clear that the business development of Clare GAA was also their second priority to be addressed as part of the strategic plan. Clare GAA’s engagement in social media ranks among the lowest in the country, the report said while adding that basic fundraising income “has remained static.”

The plan has four strategic axes: governance, clubs, games and business growth. Each of them includes a series of recommendations.

A new approach to governance through improved reporting is suggested. This proposes the renewal of the Clare GAA audit and risk committee every three years, the development of a clear mandate for all committees, new reporting structures for the committees to be communicated at county council meetings , new risk monitoring processes to go beyond best practices, a new financial, reporting and accounting process, more regular financial updates, an annual assessment of measured governance, carrying out an annual review process and evaluation for all committees.

The appointment of a full-time Director of Operations in the first quarter of 2022 with responsibility for the implementation of operations and the strategic plan as part of a comprehensive succession planning approach is recommended. The immediate appointment should focus on operations and strategy implementation, with this role evolving into a CEO.

Another recommended appointment is that of a full-time commercial and brand director for Clare GAA by the second quarter of 2022. The hiring of a full-time CFO is also proposed for the second quarter of the year. next.

The creation of a Games Performance Committee is suggested to assist in the development of the best environment for Clare’s football and hurling teams and to oversee the supportive environment and leadership appointment.

Succession plans are needed for Clare GAA officers with agreed transfers, while a target to increase the number of female officers on the county council executive and all committees has been set for the end of next year.

The development of a joint fundraising initiative to be implemented annually at least every two years and distributed between clubs and Clare GAA is a recommendation as part of the club goal. 2023 has been set as the timeline for the organization of an annual club coaches conference.

More game-based playing opportunities to support club growth and retention of players from minor to adult level are needed. This leads to the proposal to appoint a working group to review the existing play structures. The transfer of U19 and U21 competitions to a structure operated by Bord na nÓg was also mentioned as part of an expanded program of activities for minors.

Clubs should be encouraged to appoint a school liaison officer to link with a designated school link to ensure that every school in the county is connected to a local club. They should also have a healthy club manager. The challenges of sustainability must also be addressed through the Green Clubs program.

The implementation of a new approach to the planning and communication of luminaires is also suggested. This includes a new communication model that integrates online technology and applications to announce fixtures in a timely manner for clubs, players and referees. The feasibility of appointing a full or part-time appointment administrator to support the role of honorary secretary should be considered.

Four more GDOs are expected to be appointed by the end of 2023, according to the report. It also offers the recruitment of a four-person Hurling Academy Board, a four-person Football Academy Board, a full-time Clare GAA Hurling Performance Manager, a full-time Clare GAA Football Performance Manager and ‘a full-time Clare GAA Head of Athlete Development.

For counties, annual reviews should be conducted with designated management teams to establish their needs, available resources and document all requirements. Securing limited annual sponsorship for our inter-county teams to support the investment necessary to ensure that all supports and services are budgeted and delivered on a timely basis is a task for the CEO and President.

In Caherlohan, a new planning, planning, development and safety committee is proposed to complete the Center of Excellence. An all-weather field and indoor training center is expected to be completed by the end of 2022 with an upgrade of the existing building to cater for all non-training activities including administration, catering, meetings, etc. This phase will include the final
paving of roads and car parks with landscaping by the end of 2023. It will also be made available to camogie and women’s football teams.

Making Caherlohan the long-term headquarters of Clare GAA should be the goal, the report notes. Projector cost analysis at Cusack Park should be considered. A short-term strategy for Clareabey to be rezoned as residential in the next development plan is mentioned, “it increases the value of the facility if Clare GAA decides to sell this property in the future”. The regional S&C centers in the county should be considered especially for players in North and West Clare.

A paid managerial position in the form of a brand manager is also suggested. A brand relaunch is needed to increase value. The revenue stream can be increased from kit and leisure wear by opening Clare GAA to a bidding process for equipment in 2022, the SPG said.

Granting a new lease for the Cusack Park store to increase rental income is a position for the CEO and brand director, while the development of Cusack Park into a cashless stadium is another goal. .

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