Taking the Field of Glory: GAA Monthly
Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association’s Football & Hurling Tournament in Cleveland Highlights May
By Vincent Beach
Finally … some schedule games and training sessions. Keep the faith, keep diligent, keep fit. While all of the adult teams were able to get out in the month of April for training, the footballers and hurlers are definitely looking forward to competitive matches and warmer weather. But, before we get into the two month look-ahead schedule, the Midwest GAA Players and Supporters Association would like to thank Annie O’Donnell for the years of service after matches in the WSIA pub serving suds, spirits, and smiles. Go raibh míle maith agat, good on yah, and enjoy the retirement.
Saturday, 8th, the Cleveland Men and Ladies’ football teams host several teams from around the Midwest (Pittsburgh, Detroit, Buffalo); Chicago (Aisling Gaels, McBrides, James Joyce); and Central (Milwaukee) divisions for the Memorial 7’s Tournament at the West Side Irish American Club (WSIA). There will be two field of play going from the late morning through the afternoon. Come out to enjoy the outdoors, competition, comradery, and craic. Later in the month, May 29th, the new Buffalo Na Fianna club will travel to Pittsburgh for their first divisional championship match.
Akron travel to Pittsburgh for hurling, Detroit match-up in Cincinnati for the I-75 classic, and Cleveland play host to Buffalo Na Fianna and the Buffalo Ladies for a double header at the WSIA on the 5th. On the 12th, Akron battles Cleveland in hurling at the WSIA and the Pittsburgh Banshees head north to play the Buffalo Ladies, while the Upstate New York teams kick off the season with Albany at Syracuse. The 19th features Albany traveling to Buffalo Fenians while the Cleveland – Pittsburgh rivalry is enjoyed across three codes (hurling, men’s football, and ladies’ football) for a full GAA Day in Pittsburgh. The final Saturday in June, the 26th, will see a hurling blitz in Akron between Akron, Pittsburgh, Roc City, and Cleveland; the Buffalo Fenians travel to Albany as the Buffalo Na Fianna and Buffalo Ladies host Pittsburgh in football; and the Midwest Division hosts a youth invitational tournament in Detroit.
Cleveland Gaelic Football
Cleveland has been awarded a grant from the government of Ireland (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) through the Global Games Development Fund, a joint partnership with the GAA and DFAT’s Emigrant Support Programme. They will use the funds to secure much needed equipment for the Memorial 7’s tournament. Cleveland has secured several grants over the years to help develop the GAA locally as a means to support the Irish Diaspora, improve Irish networks, and strengthen Irish identity internationally. May we all travel again soon to Ireland in thanks.
After the 7’s tournament, Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s will jointly host the annual Night at the Races on May 22nd. This year’s event will be both indoor and outdoor at the WSIA to allow for increased spacing and social distancing. Contact the club for tickets and advertising opportunities (www.ClevelandGAA.com ). There will be some full days of GAA competition and craic at Páirc na Naomh (the home field at the WSIA) on June 5th and another in July.
Youth Gaelic Football and Hurling
The Cleveland GAA youth summer program will begin Sunday June 7th at the WSIA at 3PM for football, followed by hurling at 4:15. All ages will be coached at the same time on different fields and the program will run weekly throughout the summer. Please visit www.ClevelandGAA.com/youth for registration and details.
Adult Men and Women Gaelic Football and Hurling
Remember – new players are always welcome and can join throughout the summer. The men’s football team will continue training on Tuesdays at Impett Field in Westpark and on Thursdays at the WSIA – both starting at 6PM. The hurlers continue on Sundays in Brecksville at the Stadium Drive field starting at 1PM, with some joint sessions being held with Akron to increase game scenario drills. The Ladies’ will continue with twice a week sessions. Please visit the club website or contact the club directly to stay up to date on schedules as the summer times and days could change with sunlight and game schedules.
Go raibh míle maith agaibh
(thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement, but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you. 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 for all ages.
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 (11), Bernadette (10), and Cedric (6), grow. His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, and slangin’ some engineering skills on local concrete and pipe projects.