Young Elite GAA Players from Belfast recently showcased Gaelic Games at the TAFISA World Sport for All Games in Siauliai, Lithuania.
This is the very first time Gaelic Games was included in the World Sport for all Games and Ulster GAA was very proud to send a delegation from St Dominic’s Grammar School in Belfast to represent the Association. The delegation included PE teacher and recent Olympic torch bearer Laura McCann from St Dominic’s Grammar Belfast and four of her elite sporting pupils along with Ulster GAA Vice President of Ulster GAA Martin McAviney and Regional Development Officer Shane McCann.
This was an excellent opportunity for Ulster GAA to promote Ireland’s traditional games as well as new recreational games Peil Abú and Camán Abú.
Speaking on arriving home from the trip of a lifetime Ulster GAA Vice President Martin McAviney said, “This was a wonderful celebration of traditional games and sports from across the world and we were privileged to have the GAA represented by hard working athletes from St Dominic’s Grammar in Belfast.
“Close to 7000 participants from some 60 countries took part at the TAFISA World Sport for All Games showcasing traditional games and sports from all over the globe. It was a massive event which really was an experience of a lifetime for the student’s of St Dominic’s with 127 sports and cultural events taking place in Siauliai during our stay.
“The week-long trip was designed to highlight traditional games and sports from across the world and included the Day of Nations, a Gala Evening, Folk Festivals and the Parade of Delegations. During the Day of Nations the Ulster GAA group showcased our games to many spectators and arranged a number of games between countries such as Italy, Georgia and the Netherlands where they played a game of two halves of Peil Abú and Camán Abú.
“Hurling, in particular, was very well received by spectators and that may be because the traditional game of Lithuania, known as ‘Ripka’, involves the throwing and hitting of a small wooden/rubber disc, this had similarities to hurling and many locals and others were keen to have a go at Hurling which was great to see.
“It was a great week and great celebration of traditional sports. The students from St Dominic’s Grammar represented their school, their clubs and county and their Province with great dignity throughout the trip and presented Gaelic Games exceptional well.”