Uniquely and LIFT – Raising a Community Through the Power of Leadership in Local GAA Clubs
In the heart of every community, you’ll often find a cornerstone that unites people and fosters camaraderie. For many, that cornerstone is sport, and in Ireland, it doesn’t get much more local than the GAA. But what if these platforms could be used for something more, something transformative that extends beyond the pitch?
Enter Uniquely, a partner organisation of LIFT, who has ambitiously begun embedding LIFT Leadership Roundtables into local GAA clubs. The move aims to not just cultivate sporting ability, but to nurture leaders for tomorrow, armed with robust values and ethics. Today, we explore how Uniquely is making waves in their community through their progressive initiative.
Tackling Real Issues with Values-Based Coaching
When asked about the relevancy of LIFT’s themes to GAA, Carol Murphy, Head of Human Resources and Organisational Development at Uniquely passionately shared: “If you look at all of the themes, you can bring it back to being on the pitch, being off the pitch, being on the sideline as a spectator or as a coach, every single element and every single value is just so relevant. My idea of success was for people to be more thoughtful and aware of values when they are coaching young children… It’s about reminding yourself to do the good things every day… these are the values that you want to leave as a legacy to the young people that you coach.”
The Ripple Effect: A Change in How Coaches Think
Implementing LIFT’s roundtables has led to a noticeable change in coaching styles and approaches. “I noticed that they were more thoughtful in their reactions, in their approaches to people. It was just the opportunity to just pause and stop together. It was great to have that chance to stop and discuss, and for people to feel comfortable to have those discussions too.”
And the impact of LIFT doesn’t just stay confined to the playing field. As one roundtable participant, a coach from Eastern Gaels, Deborah Moran noted, “You know it makes you think about things that you actually never think about in real life. Just for example, my daughter last year had an awful job with her phonics and her reading. And you know before I’d be about to lose the head. Where now I say ‘hold on, take a break.’ I’d say ‘go for 5 minutes of a break and come back’. You deal with things in a different way when you sit down and think about it.”
Honesty and Integrity: The Bedrock of a Great Team
When asked about which theme had the most impact, the answer was immediate: “It was the Honesty & Integrity theme. If everyone’s on the same page and [honest with each other] everything works so much better.”
The Power of LIFT: A Life-Changing Experience
Is LIFT merely a good coaching tool, or does it have the potential to change lives? “Big Time! It changes your whole life. We’ve had the best few weeks doing LIFT and everyone learned something. One girl, probably in transition year or maybe in 5th year, she was very shy when she started but by the end of it she seemed [so comfortable and confident]. Everyone had a story of their own. Your head is in a different place.”
The enthusiasm for LIFT has been remarkable, and the recommendation was unreserved: “I didn’t just like it, I’m saying I would highly recommend it. I’d highly recommend anyone do LIFT because it’s just brilliant… It will affect every part of your life.”
As Uniquely takes LIFT’s Leadership Roundtables to their community through GAA, they’re not just building better players—they’re building better leaders, better community members, and ultimately, better human beings. And that, truly, is the essence of sport at its finest.