Limerick school leavers get sporting chance with LEDP coaching programme

Dylan Prior and Munster Rugby icon Brendan Foley at the Munsters Inc tag rugby project's photographic exhibition

Dylan Prior and Munster Rugby icon Brendan Foley at the Munsters Inc tag rugby project's photographic exhibition

  • by Mike Dwane

A DOCUMENTARY following a group of early school leavers in Limerick focuses on the power of sport to get them back into education and help them achieve their goals.

A Sporting Chance is due to be aired on Setanta Sports after the wrap but not before the cameras follow the 14 young men and women from the southside to a tag rugby festival at London Wasps.

Munsters Inc, set up with the help of former Irish internationals Liam Toland and Rosie Foley, is captained by Dylan Prior, from Roxboro Road.

The team includes school leavers like Dylan who are enrolled at a year-long programme at the LEDP in Roxboro that will see them earn coaching qualifications in GAA, soccer and rugby.

Tag suits Dylan, whose shot at a rugby career was cut short by a shoulder injury when playing for his school at 16.

“A fella picked me up by the legs and dropped me. I didn’t want to release the ball and knock on so I landed on the shoulder and the only way I can describe the noise is like you put your hand into a bowl of cornflakes and crunched them,” said Dylan, 20.

Like the rugby, school didn’t go as planned for Dylan and he dropped out after the Junior Cert.

He soon found work as a kitchen porter but by his own admission “there was a couple of years when I didn’t get up to much”.

A second chance came when he got a call from employment services who, knowing his love for sport, asked Dylan to consider an interview for the local training initiative in sports coaching at the LEDP.

“I got the interview and everything else that has happened since has been the knock-on effect.”

He already coaches the five-to-eights every Sunday at Young Munster but Dylan is hoping the course is his ticket back to mainstream education.

“What I am trying to do now is to get in the back door into UL to study sports and nutrition on a four-year course,” said Dylan.

His progress towards that goal is being charted all the way by Gyne & Gimble and Motive Television, co-producers of A Sporting Chance.

The film-makers have been following the school leavers through their course; the involvement of the LEDP, Solas, Limerick Adult Education Services and Munster Rugby; the group’s participation in a photographic exhibition featuring Munster legends and, of course, the formation of Munsters Inc.

The tag team will be led out by Dylan in London next weekend, the cameras rolling all the while.

“I miss full contact rugby obviously but I’m looking forward to it,” said Dylan.




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