A new Era for the Mountain and Cave Rescue Teams across Ireland!

For some sports, coaching and development sessions commence during the summer holiday period while for others, the squads meet for the first time during the regional Schools of Sport, which take place in each of the 5 Education & Library Board areas at Halloween.

Following the Schools of Sport the RDS programme continues over the winter and spring months offering participants approximately 20 hours of quality coaching and performance development sessions. They conclude with the climax of the Golden Cow Youth Games in May.

As many as possible of the original Regional Development Squad participants will be included within the Golden Cow Youth Games to ensure that those who have trained hard throughout the year are given the chance to display their talents and enjoy the finale of the RDS Programme. Many of the sports involved will play small-sided games to ensure maximum participation for all the performers.

It is hoped that the young people who have been involved in the regional development squad programme will progress into a provincial or national squad programme of their sport in the following season, based on their talent and commitment to the sport. The Regional Development Squad Programme is managed by the governing bodies of sport. Sport NI has provided funding totalling £344,882 to 17 governing bodies to develop Regional Development Squads for the two year period 2003 - 2005. Many governing bodies offer talented performers representative opportunities. Depending on the structure of the governing body in Northern Ireland, performers may either represent. The age at which representative opportunities start will vary depending on the sport. In addition, some sports will not only offer representative opportunities for the best performers at under age and senior level, but will offer opportunities for developmental squads and veteran players etc.