Lidl Ireland are pleased to announce that Coláiste Chill Mhantáin has been named as one of 26 schools, one in every county in the Republic of Ireland, that have been chosen to participate in its #SeriousSupport Schools Programme for the 2022-23 school year. This represents an overall investment of €120,000 in local schools across the country.
Supported by the Ladies Gaelic Football Association (LGFA) and delivered by Youth Sport Trust and their specially trained athlete mentors, the programme is designed to educate teenage girls about the positive mental and physical health benefits of playing ladies Gaelic football. The programme also aims to increase participation and reduce drop-out rates for teenagers in the sport. Twenty-six schools across Ireland will have the opportunity to benefit from the programme along with receiving a brand-new set of jerseys for their school team.
The athlete mentors, all of whom are current or former inter county ladies Gaelic football players, are committed to using sport to transform the lives of young people. The mentors will introduce students to the programme’s values of Respect, Trust, Responsibility and Recognition. Taking place over the course of 2 visits to each school, the programme will be delivered via workshops and team-building sessions.
Boasting an impressive array of achievements, the stellar line up of LGFA intercounty players delivering this year’s programme are; Anne Marie Doran (Wicklow), Carla Rowe (Dublin), Eilis Ward (Donegal), Laurie Ryan (Clare), Méabh de Búrca (Galway), Orlagh Farmer (Cork), Samantha Lambert (Tipperary), and Therese Scott (Monaghan).
President of the LGFA, Mícheál Naughton, commented: “It’s wonderful to be in a position to confirm the schools selected for Lidl’s #SeriousSupport schools programme. We look forward with keen interest to following the journey of these schools as they gain invaluable insights and experience from our inter-county stars, who are working once again as athlete mentors. The benefits of the Lidl #SeriousSupport schools programme are wide-ranging and of vital importance to our young students, who will develop key life skills at such an important time in their lives. Who better to learn from then our athlete mentors, who have been through so much themselves as adolescents and into their adult lives. I would like to acknowledge the superb input from Lidl Ireland and Youth Sport Trust in a programme that has already benefited so many young people.”
This year, the programme aims to include a wider representation of lower ranking schools for Income Affecting Children’s Deprivation (IACD) in a bid to level the playing field for disadvantaged areas and to support schools to build healthier, happier and more resilient students.
Joe Mooney, Senior Partnerships Manager for Lidl Ireland and Northern Ireland said;
“Lidl Ireland is committed to supporting local communities and our established #SeriousSupport initiative aims to tackle issues head on. Since launching the pilot programme in 2018 we’ve been blown away by the feedback from students and employees and the transformative impact that the programme has had on young people right across Ireland.
We’re taking urgent action to ensure that access to mental health support through athlete mentorships is accessible to everyone, and particularly those schools in more disadvantaged areas where it has been found that young people can face a higher risk of mental health issues. Through our team of fantastic sporting heroes and mentors, we aim to identify and unlock barriers faced by young people and support them on a programme to better physical and mental health.
I’m delighted to announce 26 schools selected to benefit from the programme this school year and I’d like to thank all of our loyal shoppers who took the time to nominate schools.”
In January, Lidl Ireland announced a four-year extension of its award-winning sponsorship of the LGFA, that will ultimately mark a decade of #SeriousSupport. The extension will represent an investment of €10 million in 10 years of sponsorship by the retailer.