Croke Park and Exchange Dublin (Avery Cok)

2 Dec

My journey through the depths of the GAA stadium was not only thrilling, but also very educational. Obviously, my knowledge of Irish sport culture grew significantly as I got a tour of the places that the players would hang out before and after the games. In addition, the movie demonstrated to me was very interesting and I got a good look at what it took to be part of the prestigious teams that the stadium would house. I couldn’t believe how incredibly massive Croke Park was with a whopping capacity of 82,300 people. I was additionally surprised by the amount of music shows that would go on in the stadium. These shows would have renowned bands join the fans in the excitement of Gaelic Games through music, which is a culture that can unite many different types of people. For example, U2 was a specific band that they boasted about. 

The Gaelic Games that occur in the stadium give Irish people something great to cheer about. Hurling and football are among the sports that are seen in the stadium, where the finals generally occur. The stadium also housed the opening and closing of the Special Olympics in 2003, which shows their appreciation outside of just Gaelic Games. In order to present the diversity that the stadium undertakes, there was a religious address given by Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. When I was there, I couldn’t help to marvel at how grandiose and beautiful the stadium and the luscious green on the stadium was. There was maintenance being done there, which shows a strong necessity for upkeep. Due to all the fore, Croke Park is getting its name out there in order to bring a new crowd in. It has been growing larger and larger and is officially the fourth largest stadium in Europe.

Next, I want to touch on Exchange Dublin, which is a place located near Temple Bar. It has been the place that I have been doing my volunteering the past months in Dublin. It is an arts center and I am writing about it now in order to promote it. It houses the very unique and creative artistry that Dublin has to offer. Moreover, there are a bunch of miscellaneous events, related to the arts, happening all the time. I subsequently recommend anyone that appreciates art to check out the place and enjoy. Furthermore, Exchange Dublin’s community is friendly and warm. It has been a place, where I got many opportunities to advance my learning through experience. I have learned many things about life that I will undoubtedly utilize in future circumstances. I just think that this place is too underrated and deserves more attention. It’s a place, where everyone is welcomed and art appreciation constantly occurs. This is great for those who want to expand their minds to new lengths. I specifically learned about overcoming mistakes that inherently happen in life, which I won’t go into too much detail due to the complexity of such a broad topic. In sum, my time in Dublin has been augmented by experiential learning through Irish-cultured trips and I would never change my experience for the world.    

-Avery Cok


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