Fulltime Soccer Players In The Womens World Cup The Greatest Sporting Organization in Ireland is the GAA

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The Greatest Sporting Organization in Ireland is the GAA

As I write, the Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is about to complete 125 years. 2009 saw many celebrations of this event with thousands of clubs in Ireland celebrating in their own way.

The GAA and its games are very unique in the sport. There is no other country in the world that has so many sports, played by men and women who do not exercise so much, and so much talent that attracts so many people in Ireland, yet it is still unknown in any country in the world. With the exception of former sports organizers in the US, UK and Australia, this amazing game has been largely ignored by the media around the world. And boy, what is missing!

For those who may not be familiar with Irish national sports, a brief introduction is in order. Gaelic sports are divided into football, hurling, camogie (women’s hurling) women’s football and handball (like squash without racquets). The first two mentioned are major sports, played by men.

At the heart of the whole GAA system is the parish club and amateur system. There are over 2,500 clubs in Ireland’s 32 counties. No player in any game is paid and only the officials who work regularly receive salaries and allowances.

The volunteer side of the organization is amazing. Coaches and officials at clubs and governments work diligently to ensure that the game is passed down through the generations in the same way that other sports are to attract the children who will make the future. For a sport that is limited to the island of Ireland, the appeal and power it possesses is a phenomenon not seen anywhere else in the world of sport.

The amateur side is also the key to his success. The heroes of Gaelic sports are visual, ordinary men and women who perform magic on the pitch, watched by thousands, and by large television audiences. However, they have work to do on Monday, whether it’s a construction site, an accounting job, a teaching job or a university. These lads and lasses are touchy-feely, the kind of audience you’d meet at a pub with a pint, largely overlooked by their local peers, but mega-stars on social media. They live a normal life with their feet firmly planted on the ground. There is little room for GAA dressing rooms and the mindset of many players, famous or not, is instilled in them from an early age.

As a major force for good in any community, whether small village or large town, it is impossible to quantify the many cultural and personal benefits that flow from the presence of a GAA club.

At the highest level the success of the game has helped the GAA, and Ireland, to have one of the biggest stadiums in the world – namely Croke Park, north of Dublin. The stadium has a long history, but the foresight of the GAA’s top club to demolish it slowly, maintain a competitive schedule and rebuild it completely by 2005 with a capacity of 82,000, was a huge success for the players. organization. Not only is there Croke Park, but many great stadiums around the country, such as Semple Stadium in Thurles, Pairc O Caoimbh in Cork, and Clones in Monaghan to name a few.

It speaks volumes for the people running the organization when you see the challenges that FAI colleagues have made in local and national competitions, even in the great years of the 80’s and 90’s, when football’s reputation was at its peak. and the success that Jack Charlton brought to team and country. The idiots who go about as professional referees in the FAI could take a lesson from what the Football Association despises like the Grab All Association.

This needs to be explained very well that the Give Away Association sees the money that has fallen to the bottom, creating valuable things in every small village and town, while the football teams are still coming out from behind the hole and the national team is. homeless!

The old management systems where there are County Boards, Provincial Councils, and Central Council management tiers are often criticized for not being able to move issues quickly. There is a lot of truth in it, and this has often led to apathy when trying to find important decisions. Nothing more than the thorny and controversial idea of ​​opening Croke Park to support the playing of football and rugby, sports that were previously foreign to the culture of the GAA due to the British occupation of Ireland at the time of the Association’s founding in 1884.

This sentiment was fueled by memories of the barbaric acts of British soldiers in 1921 when they entered Croke Park in armored vehicles, and opened fire on spectators and players without warning. Thirteen people were killed that infamous day, including one player, Michael Hogan, after whom the Hogan Stand is now named.

After that, members of the British army were not allowed to become members of the GAA. When the government evolved into what it is now, the Republic of Ireland of 26 counties and the special 6-county of Ulster, controlled by Britain, the ban was applied until recent years to members of the then RUC (now the PSNI). .

The most controversial of the GAA’s rules that took place from the 1920’s was what became known as the “Ban”. This law prevented Gaelic sports players from taking part in so-called “foreign sports”, meaning football and rugby. The two games were considered to be British games and therefore foreign to Irish culture. It was the most ridiculous rule the GAA had ever made and it was broken so many times, in so many different ways, that public opinion forced the association to scrap the rule in 1972.

That the rule took so long is not something the GAA should be proud of.

Therefore, the debate about opening Croke Park to football and rugby began in the events of many years ago. It took three years for the agreement to be approved, and it showed that history can be a major obstacle to progress.

However, one of the writer’s best memories was watching Ireland beat England in the 6-Nations Rugby Championship in 2006 in an overflowing and indescribable cauldron of emotion and pride.

May this wonderful, unique game be with us to enjoy and 2010 brings the GAA into its 126th year of existence, the dedicated part of it remains!

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