Transition Year Trip to Croke Park and Irish Aid

Transition Year Trip to Croke Park and Irish Aid

TY1 Trip to Croke Park and Irish Aid
On Tuesday 12th of February, the students of TY1 made the trip to Dublin to visit two quite different, yet equally enjoyable, places of interest. The first being Croke Park, the national GAA stadium, the other was the headquarters of the Government body responsible for overseas development, Irish Aid.
The Croke Park tour began in the GAA Museum beneath the Cusack Stand. Here, the students were shown a vast display of artefacts including the medals, trophies, boots and jerseys of GAA stars both past and present. Next, they took part in a nutrition workshop to link in with the GAA Future Leaders Nutrition module that they are currently taking part in. They were provided with useful tips on how to keep a balanced diet and given sample recipes to try at home. After this, they were brought into the senior dressing rooms to get a feel for the match day experience of a player in Croke Park. There were a few motivational words in the warm up room, before they burst out into the tunnel to the sound of a roaring crowd. While they were not allowed to actually step onto the hallowed turf of Croker, they did get a pitch side view of the groundskeepers in action! After learning some interesting facts about what goes on behind the scenes at Croke Park, they got the chance to climb the steps of the Hogan Stand and raise “the Sam Maguire” cup. From there, they went to the interactive games zone. Here, they tested their jumping, fielding, kicking and hurling skills in a series of competitions. The students, including non-GAA fans, thoroughly enjoyed this all-access tour of the stadium.
After a brief stop for lunch in the Croke Park café, it was time for the lads to move on to the next stop on the trip. They were brought to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, just off Harcourt Street, where they participated in an Irish Aid development workshop. It began with an informative talk about the work of Irish Aid in developing countries and what we can do to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals set out by the UN in 2015. They learned that Ireland gives approximately 750-million-euro worth of aid to overseas countries every year, and that Irish Aid works with eight Key Partner countries, seven of which are in sub-Saharan Africa and one (Vietnam) in southeast Asia. Then, they watched a video documenting the life of a teenager in rural Malawi and discussed the differences and similarities between life in Malawi and life in Ireland. To finish the workshop, they played an interactive game where they were split into families and given food cards. Different scenarios during the course of the game, e.g. a drought occurs, caused the ‘families’ to lose or gain food cards depending on their resources. The purpose of this was to highlight the food insecurity of families in countries like Malawi, where they are always in danger of losing their food resources. The workshop was an eye-opening experience for the students involved and they will be more mindful of supporting aid agencies in the future.
There was very positive feedback from students at the end of the day, with all having enjoyed the trip. We would like to thank both Croke Park and Irish Aid for hosting us on the day.