Crash Course in Gaelic Football

7 Oct

Last week I visited the Gaelic Athletic Association, or the GAA as it is commonly known as here in Ireland. After a quick train ride I arrived at the GAA Headquarters. I learned some background information on the GAA including the fact that it is a volunteer led organization that promotes an array of Gaelic Games throughout Ireland such as hurling, Gaelic football, handball and rounders. After watching a little bit of hurling and Gaelic football I learned what those unfamiliar sports were that I had seen playing on TV in all the pubs. I also learned why a week before people all over Dublin were painted blue…or red and green. 

After our presentation we received lessons on how to play Gaelic football and hurling. I  played soccer in high school so it was exciting to learn the rules of Ireland’s famous sport of Gaelic football. I quickly learned that I would have been a great Gaelic football player in high school due to the numerous times I was scolded by my coach for kicking the ball over the net in attempt to score a goal. If I had lived in Dublin I would have received one point for every “mistake” I made.

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I also gained a strong appreciation for hurlers. I was shocked by the amount of skill and hand-eye coordination that it takes to play the sport. It definitely is not an easy sport to pick up on

I was disappointed that we did not travel to Croke Park for this seminar but I will have to visit it before I leave Dublin in December. I was interested in the uproar that Croke Park created when Ireland allowed other sports to play on the astounding stadium. In the end I realized that GAA is one way that Ireland unites. The excitement that everyone has for a common sport creates unity and a little bit of “friendly” competition throughout Ireland.

 

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