As the row over education cutbacks and their implications for sport in schools rumbles on, it’s worth remembering that two members of the De La Salle senior hurling panel headed for Semple Stadium this Sunday – namely, Derek McGrath and Dermot Dooley – were the men mainly responsible for delivering successive Munster and All-Ireland Colleges titles to the school of the same name these past two years.
The Physical Education Association of Ireland said this week in relation to the removal of supervision and substitution cover for extra-curricular activities that “The morale of a school is often tied into small and great triumphs at local and national events. This contribution should not be underestimated.”
Supporting teachers’ unions the ASTI and TUI to the hilt, the PEAI added that “it is imperative that every initiative to promote positive physical activity experiences is supported and nurtured”, describing the voluntary contribution of teacher time as “a substantial unpaid resource”. If this commitment “beyond the call of duty” it to be maintained, it “should be handled with care.”
At the moment, it seems, teacher and management goodwill is being taken for granted – just like success outside of school. Ultimately it’s the students of tomorrow that will suffer.