A NEW juvenile GAA club for Irish speakers will be formally launched by Belfast Gaeilgeoirí this weekend.

Laochra Loch Lao will be launched as part of the Thomas Ashe centenary weekend on Saturday at Coláiste Feirste and Laochra Loch Lao’s newly built, state-of-the-art sport facility at Beechmount, which includes a full championship sized GAA pitch.

Juvenile co-ordinator, Brian Mac an tSionnaigh said: “Following ten years as amalgamated senior club, competing in various competitions, we carried out a comprehensive survey in Belfast bunscoileanna, to gauge interest in the provision of Irish medium GAA activity and the demand was huge.

“We are now progressing to become Belfast’s first stand-alone Irish speaking GAA club, with the aim of fostering a first-class GAA experience through Irish for the next generation of young Gaels in Belfast. With Laochra Loch Lao, we are committed to adding value to your child’s personal, social, cultural, educational and sporting development.

He added: “CLG Laochra Loch Lao will provide the highest standard GAA training and pastoral care by qualified coaches with many years’ experience in this field. We aim is to develop a mainstream, competitive GAA club that will be recognised throughout Ireland because of its dedication to the Irish language and its sporting excellence. All coaches are also linked to and supported by local Gaelscoileanna, and will be fully qualified and Access NI vetted.”

Chairperson of Laochra Loch Laoch Juvenile Committee, Conchúr Ó Muadaigh added: “For Laochra Loch Lao club members, our native language and the creation of a sustainable language community is our core objective. We view the Irish language as our dominant acoustic and the language in which we will conduct all our business and sporting activities.

“We want to ensure that our children and young people have the chance to live their lives through the medium of Irish. Our club will be a natural extension to the fantastic and unique experience your child receives in our bunscoileanna and Cumainn óige. To this end, we will be providing the highest quality GAA coaching in our native tongue in the best sporting facilities in Belfast.

“Sports through the medium of Irish adds value to our children’s educational journey in Irish medium schools by increasing fluency and normalising the social use of the language through fun activity outside of the formal education of the classroom. So we are appealing to those whose children attend our Gaelcoileanna to join us in Belfast’s newest and most transformational language project, by taking part in Laochra Loch Lao CLG.”

Laochra Loch Lao will start with three age groups (Nursery Programme: 4 – 6 year olds, U-6s: Primary 1 Primary 2, and U-8s: Primary 3 Primary 4) and will have training days on Sunday mornings 11:00am and Tuesday nights 6:00pm. Training will take place at Laochra Loch Lao home and training pitches at Colaiste Feirste, Falls Road.

You can register your child for Laochra Loch Lao to take part this year football calendar on Saturday 23 September 2017 at Coláiste Feirste, 1pm.