Playing sports- As the Irish do!

Authored by:
Elaina Loyd

Yesterday's afternoon activities involved a beautiful walk through the botanical gardens, followed by an action packed afternoon of learning about the GAA-the Gaelic Athletic Association. Students boarded a public bus for a short ride outside of the city center to get to the Glasnevin neighborhood. The botanical gardens offered students a view of plants and flowers from all over the world. Students also enjoyed viewing the critters that call this garden their home. 


After a relaxing few hours in the garden, it was time for action! Students learned about the three sports that make up the Gaelic games- hurling, Gaelic football, and handball. We had a great demonstration by two sports coaches from Glasnevin who gave us a tutorial on the rules and basic instructions on how to play. Then, it was time to give it a shot! 


A little about each sport-

Hurling- Hurling is played with a mallet and is a very fast-paced and exciting sport. Hurling is an ancient "warrior" sport played only in Ireland. The ball is called a "Sliotar" and is about the size of a baseball. 

Gaelic football -The ball resembles a volleyball. Two teams of 15 players. The goal is to advance the ball into the other team's goal. The final of the All-Ireland Senior championship has had more than 80,000 people attend- more than the Super Bowl! 

Handball - Gaelic handball is played when players make a fist and hit a ball against a wall that the other team cannot return. It's similar to squash in the United States.

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