A GAA club in Co Meath made the unexpected decision to ban parents from using their mobile phones on the sidelines when their children were playing, instead encouraging to watch the game and cheer on their team.
The unusual move has been met with approval from the coaches and parents and has created a buzz around the club online.
Navan O’Mahonys GAA chose to introduce the phone ban for their ‘Pride of Cubs’ nursery team, after coaches noticed parents were constantly looking at their phones, rather than watching their kids play.
Navan O’Mahonys posted on their website: “In today’s society, people are constantly on their phones in restaurants, bars… and the sidelines is no different. We want to change this.
“Navan O’Mahony’s was founded long before phones and we want to remind parents of the essence of the community club and get them to live in the moment with their children… kids just want to look up after catching a ball or using a hurl to see their parents cheering them on.
“Sometimes parents miss this memory because they are looking at a phone and this can lead to a disappointed child. At this age, it’s all about catching a ball, kicking a ball and running with it or holding a hurl and we have to cheer them on.
“The club decided that if we get parents used to not using their phones now and encouraging their children to learn new skills then it will progress through the age groups.
“Navan O’Mahony’s want to bring back the mentality that we are a family club and get everyone involved.”
The ban has been so well-received that the club have decided to extend it to all their teams across the different age groups.
It has also been picked up and reported by several major media outlets and created a stir on social media.