Former Tipperary ladies football captain Samantha Lambert has been brought on board as a mentor for the Lidl Schools Programme for 2021/22.
The Ardfinnan player is one of 12 athlete mentors who have committed to reduce the drop-off rate in sport participation amongst girls aged 11-14 years in schools around the country.
Each school will partner with one of Lidl’s 12 athlete mentors, who are current or former elite-level inter-county players.
Research undertaken by Lidl into how sport participation impacts the lives of women both on and off the pitch, and the factors that influence dropout rates, showed that by age 13, 1 in 2 girls drop out of sport. Girls are 3 times more likely to give up sport than boys.
Yet, it was discovered that girls who continue to play team sports are 4 times more likely to feel body confident, 50% feel more supported and 80% are more likely to have positive mental wellbeing when compared with their peers who do not play sport.
Lambert will be responsible for delivering her successful stories on the pitch with students, sharing her experiences and hopefully using that knowledge to transfer inspiration to the next generation of girls coming through the ranks.
Some of the other mentors involved in the programme are Aoife McDonnell (Donegal), Amy Roddy (Mayo), Ann Marie Doran (Wicklow), Laurie Ryan (Clare), Méabh De Búrca (New York/Galway), Orlagh Farmer (Cork), Siobhan Sheerin (Tyrone), Therese Scott (Monaghan) and Tiana Kyle (Meath).
All schools involved will receive inspirational assembly talks, workshops from their mentors and will then undertake a Ladies Gaelic Football project of their own throughout the year, applying the concepts they’ve learned through the workshops.
The Tipperary school in the programme is the Ursuline Secondary School in Thurles and the scheme will hopefully progress unhindered this time around after being cancelled last year due to the Covid pandemic.
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