On the July 11th 2023, the Her Moves team visited Birr, Offaly to be a part of the exciting pilot programme by the Camogie Association which combines camogie with a host of off-pitch activities and taster sessions including music, dance, leadership, and teamwork.
The Her Moves campaign, aimed at encouraging participation in various activities, is designed to inspire more teen girls to try new things and encourage those at risk of dropping out to stay in the sport. The camp was orchestrated by Sabrina Larkin, a passionate advocate from the Camogie Association and Leinster Participation and Growth Co-Ordinator, who worked meticulously to create a memorable experience for all participants.
LEADERSHIP FOR LIFE
Thirty teens from all over Offaly were in attendance, girls from rival teams were mingling, laughing, and having fun. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming as it accommodated a range of ages from 12-17, and even though some of the girls did not know each other at the start of the week, there was an evident bond shared through their passion for the game. The week-long camp has offered a diverse range of activities to inspire and engage the girls. Our visit kicked off with an enlightening talk from Sabrina herself, which focused on attitude, energy and mindset which is important to maintain a healthy relationship with sport and everyday life. The biggest takeaway was the emphasis that everyone is a leader, and how their attitude can directly impact their environment. Having the right attitude can create powerful change and inspire those around them.
The girls were also given a great opportunity to work as a team for an exercise called ‘protect the egg’ in which the group was split into teams and each given an array of materials including cotton wool, string, tissue paper, balloons, and tape. Each element represented part of the girls’ support system spanning coaching, parents, teachers, and friends (figuratively!). The teams tasked with coming up with a contraption that could protect an egg when thrown at a wall. There was a buzz of excitement throughout the entire exercise, different characters were pitching their ideas and working in collaboration to develop the best design. This section of the day was finished off with the thrilling spectacle of firing their devices at the wall and hoping their devices worked – let’s just say there was a bit of clean-up but one of the team eggs survived the experiment!
The next part of the day involved camogie skills with Paul McLoughlin. The hurleys and helmets were thrown to the wayside for some fun warmup activities in the form of games, a brilliant example that you don’t need specific equipment or gear to get active and have fun! Skill Stations were set up to provide focused training, enabling the girls to enhance their technique, agility, and strategic thinking. And the incorporation of wall ball exercises later in the week further honed their hand-eye coordination and reflexes.
FUELLING FOR MORE FUN
After that it was time to refuel with a healthy lunch of pasta bolognese with a yogurt & granola fruit cup. This reinforced the Nutrition Talk and Bake Practical Session, where the girls learned about the importance of healthy eating while putting their culinary skills to the test. This session aimed to instil good nutrition habits and educate the girls on how to fuel their bodies for a healthy and active lifestyle.
Following a quick TikTok interlude, the girls finished up their day with a leadership workshop with Dave Dunn which investigated the power of influence, authority and how we can all learn to be better leaders, friends, and teammates. Through various interactive exercises and discussions, they gained valuable insights into effective communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. This workshop aimed to equip them with the necessary skills to excel not only as part of a camogie team but also in their future endeavours.
The camp was a celebration of athleticism, teamwork, fun and new friendships. The girls also had the opportunity to engage in Badminton, Tag Rugby, and LGFA, experiencing the thrill of different sports and having fun discovering new interests.
Throughout the week, the atmosphere was vibrant, and the girls forged new friendships while cheering each other on. The camp not only provided an avenue for skill development but also fostered self-esteem, teamwork, and leadership qualities.