Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association
by Vincent Beach
The pre-season activities begin this month for youth and adults. There is a New Player Night on Friday, March 20 from 7-8:30 at Sportsplex (North Olmsted) for adult women and men. Players will divide up and work through skills stations to learn the game before trying it out later in in small sided scrimmages (ladies v ladies, men v men).
Following the field work, a social will be held next store at Fuzzies’… where the elite don’t meet. In the weeks thereafter thru April, sessions will be held in a similar format with scrimmages turning to competitive games amongst the club members.
Consider coming out to join the ladies, men, or the club socialites. In recent years, people from every background have participated: high schoolers headed to college, local college students, twenty and thirty somethings returning to Cleveland or just discovering the sport, running enthusiasts, hockey players, friends of players, Irish descendants, arrivals from Ireland, mothers and fathers of youth players, people looking for a social group, people looking for a competitive sports group, people looking for a social sports group – quite a community. As the GAA says, it’s where we all belong.
Gaelic Outdoor Season
The Gaelic Indoor precedes the outdoor season that starts in May. Once again, the club will host the Cleveland Memorial 7’s, a seven-a-aside Gaelic football tournament for men’s and ladies’ teams from around the Midwest and beyond.
The 7’s will take place on Saturday May 16th at the West Side Irish American Club in Olmsted Township. Planning is just starting up – if you want to be involved contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. Last year’s tourney was a great day of sport, music, and craic. There is no admission fee to come watch.
Youth Gaelic Football
Similar to the adults, the youth have been hosting free new player sessions for Gaelic football throughout the winter. Starting March 20, they will host games-based sessions at Sportsplex (North Olmsted). Ages 5-6 will be from 6pm-645pm, ages 7-9 will be from 630pm-715pm, and ages 10-14 will be from 715-8pm. The following sessions will run at the same times on March 27, April 3, and April 24.
Introduction to Hurling
The club also continues its introduction to hurling. This free program will continue indoor sessions on Friday March 13 from 7-8PM and on Sunday April 5 from 4-5PM. The club has the gear – sliotars, hurling sticks, and helmets – just wear your runners/trainers/sneakers/tennis shoes. All ages are welcome.
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 2020 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.