Meath GAA club Navan O'Mahonys has created what it calls a "phone free zone" during its Pride Of Cubs Nursery on Saturday mornings.
A sign at the club's ground implores parents, "During this one hour please put your phone away, watch your child learn a new skill and play".
— Navan O'Mahonys (@NavanOMahonys) April 27, 2019
"The decision was taken after trainers noticed that parents were constantly looking at their phones instead of watching and encouraging their child to develop and share in the whole excitement of improving their skills," said the club on its website.
The nursery teaches girls and boys from four to six years of age camogie, hurling and football and sometimes kids just want to look up after catching a ball or using a hurl to see their parents cheering them on.
Sometimes parents miss this memory because they are looking at a phone and this can lead to a disappointed child. At this age, it’s all about catching a ball, kicking a ball and running with it or holding a hurl and we have to cheer them on.
The club decided that if we get parents used to not using their phones now and encouraging their children to learn new skills then it will progress through the age groups.
Navan O’Mahony’s want to bring back the mentality that we are a family club and get everyone involved.
In today’s society, people are constantly on their phones in restaurants, bars and everywhere public and the sidelines is no different. We want to change this.
Navan O’Mahonys was founded long before phones and we want to remind parents of the essence of the community club and get them to live in the moment with their children.
Picture credit: Sportsfile