Youth bring Maur power
Founded in 1928, St Maur's GAA club have been an essential part of the community of Rush for more than 80 years and their push for continuing excellence is constantly evolving.
Part of the process is club games promotion officer Colm Crowley who took some time out to speak to the Herald about the direction Maur's are taking.
"We currently have three separate nursery sessions that, between them, have almost 100 children," Crowley explained.
"Like every nursery, we try to focus on the basics, and get the children involved in the club. The big thing we are trying to do at the moment is to get more parents involved with the coaching side of things.
"There is a core of volunteers with us who do tireless work while our older juvenile members are also helping with the nursery coaching."
As well as the work in the nursery, Crowley is also coaching in the local schools every week -- something that greatly helps with the recruitment of new members. Traditionally, football has been the strongest side of St Maur's, but a big push in terms of hurling has seen major developments in that area as well.
"We have nearly two teams at every age group in hurling at the moment, which is great," he said. "Our first ever minor hurling team will be competing at championship level this year too, which shows how well we are doing. They start training as a group this week."
Despite the obvious positives, Crowley does point out that there are obstacles in the way of keeping the numbers consistent: "We wouldn't have a massive catchment area.
"Obviously we would always want to have more in terms of numbers. Soccer is a big challenge for us in terms of competing for players.
"But we are happy where we are at the moment. Where we have come from over the last 10 to 12 years is incredible. There was a camp in the club in 2000 that only had six registered children and now our Cúl Camps get upwards of 150.
"I suppose it's vital we keep getting ourselves out there and keep up the work in the schools especially as opposed to waiting for children to come up to us.
"We are kicking off a hurling development project where I will be working with all the coaches to improve that side of things.
"Our juvenile structure is always under review in order to make sure it is the best it can possibly be."
The facilities in the club are as good as any in Dublin. A new hurling wall that is to be constructed in the coming weeks will soon supplement a floodlit training pitch, an indoor facility, plus their two main playing fields.
Looking ahead, Crowley believes it is all about continuity.
"At senior level we have recently got to division one in football and we are at our highest ever level in adult hurling," he said.
"We need to keep that going. Our juvenile structure needs to keep feeding into that. Our plan is to have two teams across every age group within the next five years.
"As long as our juvenile section is healthy then everything else will fall into place."