THE days of players storing their hurleys in a shabby fertiliser bag on the pitch sideline are over thanks to an innovative new product which has been developed by a group of County Limerick secondary school students.
The 24-strong team of Transition Year students from Colaiste Iosaef in Kilmallock have devised ‘12-PAC’ - a unique hurley storage bag from which dry, spare hurleys can be distributed to players as they need them.
And already orders have been coming in thick and fast for the product.
Clubs around the county have placed orders and LIT are also said to be “very interested” in the unique design.
“We were looking for something that would be different,” said 15-year-old Peggy Gilbert from Martinstown who is the managing director of Sideline – the student company behind the initiative.
“We are all interested in hurling so we were trying to think of something that would make it easier to transport our hurleys and prevent them from getting wet when on the sideline. We kept developing it to make it more practical,” she added.
The students who began working on the product last September looked at areas where the sport could be improved and found a niche for a product that could not only store hurleys but also serve as an effective tool for the distribution of spare hurleys during the height on match day action.
They named it 12-PAC because the “hurley bag” stores up to 12 hurleys.
“We are trying to instill in young people a bit of business sense,” explained Eoin Shinners who teaches media studies, history, Irish and enterprise at the school. “The whole idea is you can store spare hurleys on match day and they will all be labelled with numbers according to the players’ positions so you have one for backs and one for forwards. The school has bought two, a club in Tipperary have bought two, Kilmallock GAA have committed to two and Bruff GAA have committed to two. LIT have shown huge interest in them,” he added.
The bags which cost €20 to make and are being sold for €30, are made in Limerick by Harry Le Gear of Irlanda Canvas Products.
The 12-PAC - the design of which which is based on a lady’s holder for make-up brushes is based on a three-layer system which combines waterproof durable canvas with a PVC inner layer. This ensures that the product is durable and can withstand the rough and tumble of both on and off the field action. It is also weather proof which guarantees that players will receive a dry hurley at any given point in the game. This is further enhanced by a transparent PVC cover on the inside of the 12-PAC which allows the bag to be left open pitch-side regardless of weather conditions.
Additionally, the product boasts an effective labelling system. “It’s handier than the fertiliser bag anyway,” joked student and hurler Sean Finn from Bruff.
The students are set to compete against schools from all over the county in the County Enterprise awards taking place in three weeks time in the Woodlands House Hotel in Adare. The winner of that goes on to represent the county in the national finals.
“I enjoyed learning how to design it. We are working on a website also,” explained Lisa Barry from Kilmallock.
For more information log onto https://sites.google.com/a/cik.ie/sideline/.