Unlikely meeting between GAA and FC Barcelona in live discussion

galway daily gaa fc barcelona barca foundation nui galway
A live discussion tomorrow will see the GAA and Barça Foundation explore sport’s role in developing life skills during COVID-19.

The event, hosted by NUI Galway and Penn State, will feature stories of humanity and community engagement, and explore the future connections needed to cope beyond the first wave of the coronavirus emergency.

Armagh Footballer Caroline O’ Hanlon and Dublin Footballer Jack McCaffrey will provide a players’ perspective during the discussion and they will be joined by Partnerships Coordinator at Barça Foundation, Yolanda Antin, and Colin Regan, GAA Community and Health Manager.

Kalyn McDonough at the University of Delaware will also feature in the discussion, which is free for everyone and can be viewed at 6pm on Thursday, 28 May on NUI Galway’s Facebook page.

Speaking today, Professor Pat Dolan, UNESCO Chair for Youth Civic Engagement at NUI Galway, said that the value of sport as a tool to learn empathy is often overlooked but should never be underestimated.

“Through participation in sport we create relationships with others and by learning from the joy of winning and upset at losing we create a capacity to understand what others feel because we have felt it.

“The highs and lows of sport mirror life, and by bringing this understanding into our lives, we develop our capacity to show empathy to others,” he said.

Both Barça Foundation and the GAA have been active in supporting communities during the current pandemic.

A recent survey of GAA clubs found that approximately 19,000 GAA volunteers had supported around 35,000 people in local communities through activities such as collection and delivery of essentials, sharing public health information and meal delivery.

Tomorrow’s event is part of a series of 12 weekly virtual conversations hosted by the Institute for Lifecourse and Society at NUI Galway and UNESCO Chairs for Children, Youth, and Communities at NUI Galway and Penn State University.

Each week these Facebook live events (at 6pm Thursdays) bring together the views of academics, policymakers and most importantly citizens directly affected by the coronavirus.

This includes a focus on kernel issues for children and youth, parents, older people, families and people living with a disability.