Maynooth University is delighted to congratulate 24 talented inter-county GAA players who graduated from The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme at a special ceremony.
A further ten players graduated from the Special Purpose Award in Professional Leadership – an optional accreditation pathway for those who have already completed the initial programme.
Leadership success continues as a further 32 participants completed their first day of the fifth year of the programme which is designed to develop crucial leadership skills among inter-county Gaelic football, hurling, ladies football and camogie players. Participants gain skills which they can draw on in their personal, sporting and professional lives.
The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme is tailored to athletes performing at an elite level with each student working with a professional life coach to address their individual development needs and help them reach their personal goals.
The programme consists of a leadership masterclass, development centre workshop, personal and interpersonal leadership workshops, group leadership skills workshop and a community project.
Paul Flynn, CEO of the GPA, who is a past graduate of the course and said: “We’re delighted to see the growing numbers participating in this programme every year. I know from personal experience how beneficial the Jim Madden Programme is. I, for one, found it empowering to see the different styles, approaches and techniques of a wide host of leaders from different disciplines and how they had their own authentic style. We wish all graduates the best of luck for the future as they bring their learnings into their lives, both on and off the pitch.”
Presenting the awards, Vice President-Academic of Maynooth University, Professor Aidan Mulkeen, said: “Maynooth University is delighted with the continued success of this Leadership Programme and our partnership with the GPA. Maynooth’s Leadership Programme Accreditation Pathway develops the skills required for future leaders to unlock their full potential and to pursue further education.”
Antrim Hurler Neil McManus who graduated from the programme said: “The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme is without doubt the most useful piece of education I have ever undertaken. The experience will stand to me in everything that I set out to accomplish from here forward.”
Speaking about the benefits of the programme Cork’s dual player Rena Buckley, said: “Participating in the Jim Madden GPA Programme has been an amazing experience for me. I can honestly say I have gained an insight into not only the different types of leadership styles, but an understanding of how these can be applied to my own situations, both in my profession, football and camogie career. It has been a challenge, but in an inspiring way and I’m looking forward to applying what I’ve learnt in the real world.”
There is also an optional accreditation pathway for participants of The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme leading to a Special Purpose Award in Professional Leadership awarded by Maynooth University through the Department of Education.
The Jim Madden GPA Leadership Programme was made possible through the support of Michael Madden and his family who have dedicated this programme and curriculum to the memory of their late father Jim who was a tireless grassroots GAA and community activist in Tipperary. 2019 will be the fifth year and edition of the programme.
Paula Kinnarney, Maynooth University Department of Education