The GAA clubs of South Armagh recently received an introduction to Recreational Gaelic Football at the excellent floodlit facilities at Silverbridge GAC. This initiative has been promoted at various regions and areas over the last year or so, but this time it was the turn of the Gaels of south Armagh to try their luck. The event was organised by Diarmaid Marsden (Ulster GAA) and Denis Hollywood (Armagh Coaching and Games)
Representatives from 6 local clubs turned up in perfect conditions to play this adapted form of Gaelic Football and two official referees were on hand to look after the games.
The main focus of the evening was taking part and no one was really too bothered about the results of the games. The teams were 9 a side and in some instances were made up of a mixture of players from different clubs. This concept actually worked really well in that it removed a lot of the natural club rivalry and competitiveness and ensured that the games were played in the right spirit.
In this form of Gaelic Games the risk of injury is further reduced in that the game is essentially non contact and players are restricted to two touches before playing the ball.
The feedback from all players taking part was that they would like the opportunity to meet up with past players and opponents, in this environment, on a more frequent basis. Recreational GAA can be a great opportunity for past players to keep active and involved in Gaelic Games at a friendly, social level and it is the intention to run more frequent events in the New Year. It can also be an effective way for past players to become reacquainted with their clubs and as a result some have actually got involved in coaching underage teams through Recreational GAA.
The participating clubs on the night were Silverbridge, St Patricks Cullyhanna, Derrynoose, Newtownhamilton, Mullaghbawn and Culloville.
Keep an eye on the Ulster Council VDP calendar of events and national press for details of future events.
Alternatively contact Diarmaid Marsden on 07920 528792