When the 'Care For Our Players' programme was first started back in 2010 it brought a new and unique dimension to off field activities at the Mizen Rovers Underage club. It was also an exciting challenge for many of us who see how we could develop this idea and see where we could take it for the benefit of our players. Initially, it was made up of three components; Road Safety, Health & Well being and Jobs & Enterprise, all which were so topical at the time. The initiative certainly resonated with the judges when the club won 'Club Of The Year' a couple of years later.
|Members of Mizen Rovers on their Farm Safety visit to Rusnacahara NS.|
|Members of Mizen Rovers who organised a Tractor Safe Operation Course in Bantry|
Then in 2014, the sub-committee, after some deliberation, decided to expand the road safety aspect to include Farm Safety. This seemed like the right direction to take the programme because , quite simply, we were a rural club with many of our young players coming from a farming background and many more just one step away from those roots. Farm Safety was, at that time, also becoming the topic of conversation and was creating daily headlines for all the wrong reasons.
That year, the club organised and subsided a Tractor Safety Operation Course in Bantry for a group of our players, where we engaged a tutor from the Farm Relief Service to instruct them.
In 2015, the club made a submission to the Oireachtas Sub Committee,set up to look into Farm Safety.We were later invited to the public consultation hearings in Seanad Eireann, where we put forward and discussed our ideas with the Senators present.Two of our proposals were subsequently included in the final report compiled by Senator Martin Conway. Following on from our participation in that forum, and our interaction with other interested people and organisations, we confirmed our belief that we were on the right path and that yes the youth was the place to start Farm Safety Awareness.
Earlier this year, with the help of Mizen Community Safety Project, we started to put together packs of Farm Safety Materials. These consisted of books, dvd's, and hi-vis vests, all with the common theme of Safety on the Farm.We then visited ten local primary schools where we spoke to the pupils and encouraged them, and their teachers, to use the contents of the pack to further inform themselves on this important issue.
On the basis of the work carried out to date the Club was nominated for the FBD Champions for Change Awards. After much deliberation and elimination, Mizen Rovers were named overall National Winners for 2016.
The presentation of the trophy and €1,000 prize money, by Fiona Muldoon CDO of FBD, was made in the K Club in Kildare recently,where four club members attended. This was a great honor for the Club, its Players,Members and the whole community that supports us in so many ways.
We are already in discussions about how to take this to the next level and, as it was said at the presentation, maybe network it to all clubs and schools in the country with one aim of raising the awareness of Farm Safety.
Go raibh maith agaibh Connie- CFP Mizen Rovers.