Our Ethos

Club Code of Conduct

The objective of the Thurles Gaels juvenile GAA is to teach players the skills of Gaelic games and to facilitate the exercise of those skills in a competitive and fun way. Priority must be placed on the needs of the child to accelerate them to maximise their own unique potential, no matter what the match result. Winning and losing are an important part of sport but they must be kept in a healthy perspective.

We wish to foster an atmosphere of respect, discipline, learning and fun at games and training sessions. Our highest priority is that players should be safe while they are in the care of Thurles Gaels Gaa. Players will learn sporting values during their juvenile playing days which will remain with them for life. In order to demonstrate sporting values, there is a basic code of behaviour which each player, mentor, and spectator is expected to maintain.

We ask all our young members to follow the GAA’s Code of Behaviour Linked here. Parents and Coaches should familiarize themselves with this document.

Among the key elements of the code of conduct are:


  • Membership must be paid by the first match of the year or at the latest 1st of April
  • Players must remember they are representing Thurles Gaels GAA, their families & themselves.
  • Players must always wear club colours on the field of play (Green/white shorts, Green/White socks)
  • Players must always wear correct Hurling helmets during training unless otherwise informed by mentors. Hats, Caps and Base ball Caps are not permitted for both hurling and football.
  • Players should not wear Jewellery while training for or playing Hurling & Football i.e. rings, ear rings, nose ring, bracelets, watches etc are not permitted while playing
  • Players should give priority to his or her own age group.
  • Players should attend training sessions and matches on time and with the proper equipment.
  • Players should play and train with commitment and in a competitive but fair manner
  • Players must always respect referees and officials and accept their decisions
  • Players must not shout at or argue with or answer back referees, officials, team mates or opponents
  • Players should not use foul or abusive language
  • Bullying is totally unacceptable
  • Players should always remember Hurling & Football are team games and encourage fellow players
  • Players should always respect the club and its property and every other clubs properties for away matches.
  • Players must never leave their position on the field to get involved in an incident elsewhere on the field
  • Players should always shake hands with opponent after game. Win with humility – loose with dignity
  • Players must not criticise referees publicly, achieves nothing positive & may have the opposite effect
  • Players are not permitted to Smoke or drink alcohol while training with or representing Thurles Gaels Gaa Club. Players found to be doing so will be disciplined under serious offences. (See serious offences).



  • Mentors must be paid-up members of Thurles Gaels GAA Club before 1st April
  • Mentors should take every measure to ensure that players experience a safe environment while in their care
  • Bullying or any form of abuse (verbal, physical or psychological) will under no circumstances be tolerated
  • Mentors should ensure protective equipment is used where necessary
  • Mentors should show respect to players, match officials & opposition & not criticise these groups openly
  • Mentors should set a positive example in areas of punctuality, attitude & avoid foul or abusive language
  • Mentors should coach by example and encourage sportsmanship & fair play on the field of play
  • Mentors should teach players the rules of the game & how to abide by them (rules are there for player safety)
  • Do not rebuke a child for making a mistake, always encourage
  • Smoking or drinking alcohol in the presence of juvenile players is discouraged
  • First aid should be available for all training and matches
  • Mentors should notify parents of injury or illness which occur to children during activity
  • Mentors should inform parents of starting and finishing times of training or matches
  • Mentors should notify parents of organised training or matches (only notify juvenile by group text)
  • Mentors should not be alone in a changing room, car etc. with any individual player under any circumstances
  • Mentors should ensure at least two adults are present & relevant treatment is given to injured players
  • Mentors should ensure at least two or more adults are present to conduct a training session


Parents or Guardians of players and Spectators

  • Always remember you are a member of Thurles Gaels GAA & are representing the club at matches you attend
  • Do not use foul or offensive language at matches – children are present
  • Parents should provide positive, encouraging support to all Thurles Gaels teams
  • Parents should behave responsibly & refrain from negative comments & criticism of participants at matches
  • Parents should bring children to and from training and matches on time
  • Parents should encourage their child to play by the rules
  • Parents should support & encourage your child to practice the skills of Gaa at home in their spare time
  • Parents should ensure your child has the proper training/playing gear & water
  • Parents should support the mentors and help out whenever necessary
  • Parents should ensure your child is registered and a paid-up member of Thurles Gaels GAA Club
  • Parents should respect the mentor’s decision & encourage your child to do the same
  • Parents should show your support of your child/team by attending matches on a regular basis
  • Parents should not under any circumstances enter the field of play while a match is in progress
  • Parents must not criticise referees publicly, achieves nothing positive & may have the opposite effect
  • Parents must respect the opposition & never get in an altercation with any member of the opposition


Dicipline, Complaints and Appeals

Discipline in sport should always be positive in focus, providing the structure and rules that allow participants to learn to set their own goals and strive for them. It should encourage young people to become more responsible for themselves and therefore more independent.

The main form of discipline should be positive reinforcement for effort. It should encourage the development of emotional and social skills as well as skills in sport. Children should be helped to become responsible about the decisions and choices they make within sport, particularly when they are likely to make a difference between playing fairly and unfairly. There should be no place for fighting, over-aggressive or dangerous behaviour in sport. Participants should treat others in a respectful manner. They should not interfere with, bully or take unfair advantage of others.

Club Children’s Officer

The appointment of a Children’s Officer is an essential element in the creation of a quality atmosphere within Thurles Gaels GAA Club. S/he will act as a resource for all members of the club with regard to children’s issues. S/he will ensure that the children have a voice in the running of their club and can talk freely about their experiences in their sports activities. The Children’s Officer will have access to the Club Executive Committee. S/he will have as his/her primary aim the establishment of a child centred ethos within the club. The Children’s Officer will have the following functions:

To promote awareness of the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport in Ireland within the club and particularly among the children and their parents/guardians. This could be achieved by the production of information leaflets, the establishment of children’s/age-group specific notice boards and by regular information meetings for the children and their parents/guardians

  • To influence policy and practice within the club in order to prioritise children’s needs
  • To provide an accessible resource to children
  • To see that children know how to make concerns known to appropriate adults or agencies. Information disclosed by a child to the Children’s Officer or any other adult within the club should be dealt with in accordance with the Department of Health and Children’s Guidelines Children First and the Department of Health and Social Services
  • To encourage the involvement of parents/guardians in the club activities and co-operate with parents/guardians in ensuring that each child enjoys his/her involvement in sport
  • To act as an advisory resource to Sports Leaders on best practice in children’s sport
  • To report regularly to the Club Executive Committee
  • To monitor changes in membership and follow up any unusual dropout, absenteeism or club transfers by children or Sports Leaders

Children’s Officers do not have the responsibility of investigating or validating child protection concerns within the club and have no counselling or therapeutic role. It is, however, possible that child protection concerns will be brought to the attention of the Children’s Officer