Taking the Fields of Glory; GAA Update

Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
by Vincent Beach

With the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) being the largest Irish organization outside of Ireland, the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) provides annual grants to strengthen communities abroad.  Local GAA clubs provide the support system for new arrivals and maintain the cultural links of Irish descendants with their ancestral nation. 

In collaboration with the GAA in Croke Park, the DFAT packages the funding under the guise of the Global Games Development Fund.  In the past, Cleveland has secured grants to help offset adult and youth indoor rental and new equipment costs.  This year Cleveland continues its youth program of free trial nights for new and perspective players during the months of January and February for Gaelic Football. 

Then, in the months of March and April, we will run a league format of weekly games, (like last spring) at a small fee of $25.  The youth are divided by age: 5-6, 7-9, and 10-14.  For the first time, youth indoor hurling has its own dedicated nights running once per month in January through April.  Being an introductory session, hurling will be free.  Check out our website and the flyers.  Clevelandgaa.com/youth. 

The adults also participate in the Global Games Development Grant.  Funding last year ignited the growth of the club into two men’s teams and a new ladies’ team.  The goal is the same this year. 

Indoor sessions will begin after St. Patrick’s Day on a weekly basis and will lead into the outdoor season.  The Cleveland Memorial 7’s outdoor tournament will be fast approaching. 

The development grants are not limited to clubs, and the Midwest Division has requested funding for two specific items. 

The first will be held April 18 and 19 in Pittsburgh for coaches and aspiring coaches.  The division will host two coaches from Munster.  The program will be an x’s and o’s approach to the game differing from the standard GAA foundation and Level 1 classes held in prior years. 

The second application was for an annual Youth tournament to be held in June each year.  The Midwest invitational would be held in Detroit in 2020, then rotate amongst the Midwest youth clubs with the idea of becoming self-sustaining and actually revenue generating. 

Night at the Races 
Cleveland GAA and the WSIA marching units jointly host the annual event on February 15th out at the club in Olmsted Township.  Tickets include a full chicken dinner and open bar of Guinness, Harp, Miller Lite, and wine. 

There will also be free childcare in the Abbey Room, where kids play games, do crafts, and enjoy pizza.  With sideboards and the pub full of great raffle baskets, there are many chances win beyond the race picks.  Contact clevelandgaa@gmail.com for more information including tickets, sponsorships, and raffle donations.  This is always a sell-out event, so do not wait too long. 

St Patrick’s Day
March with Us: Supports, players, families, and friends are welcome to march with the GAA in the St. Patrick’s Day parade on Tuesday, March 17.  Contact clevelandgaa@gmail.com for more information. 

Upcoming Indoor Sessions
Cleveland hosts indoor sessions youth football and hurling, and adult football from January through April.  See our flyer or visit our website and Facebook page (clevelandgaa.com or @clevelandgaelic) for more information. 

Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters.  Consider getting involved at any level.  Fáilte (welcome) to all.  The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A.  Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club. 

Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2019 activities for Men, Women, and Youth.  Or, visit ClevelandGAA.com.

*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan.  He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA.  His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua.  With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (10), Bernadette (8), and Cedric (5), grow.  His other hustles are teaching Irish at PJs, coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, and slangin’ some engineering skills on local concrete and pipe projects.

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