Monday, 17 September 2018

GAA in the UK, a Surrogate Family and a Home Away from Home.

Warwickshire County Championship Winners 2018

Having never been involved with the GAA at home, my first experience with Ladies Gaelic Football was when I moved to the UK 6 years ago. I was enticed into joining the Roger Casements Ladies' squad soon after having Fionn, with the promise of drinking buddies and the reassurance that no one cared whether I was any good or not.
Fast forward 6 years, and I’m preparing for an All-Britain final, with a group of women who have shown me what strength, determination and integrity really mean.

Individuals bring an impressive tally of medals from home. Two All-Ireland winners, 6 Senior County Champions and countless Junior Championship medals from both disciplines; Football & Camogie. These are women who have represented Ireland at every level; in Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer, even Badminton.
And it’s not just the native players who bring a sporting prowess. With new English recruits, coming from soccer, hockey, rugby and judo backgrounds, the athleticism on the team is undeniable.

We have been led by a dynamic management duo, who have been relentless in their efforts to make us fitter, faster, stronger than any team in the country. HIIT sessions every week for months, sprint sessions, skills sessions, pushing us hard right up until last light, and then some.
All in the hope of winning the All-Britain title, which last year proved too elusive.

Off the pitch however, the differences of 20 counties are put aside and friendships have formed. 
It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced emigration first hand, but knowing you have a club family there, on whom you can call, makes living abroad all the easier. We have seen each other graduate Uni & take on PHDs, get married, buy homes here, become mothers. The heartbreak we feel when people move back home is immense. But with that come gaps left to be filled by new recruits: Maybe by a student who’s left home for the first time and is looking for a support network. A surrogate family. A team.

Maybe I was just lucky, and joined a good team and got my drinking buddies; but there is definitely something special about Roger Casements GAA Club Coventry.
As a team we would like to thank our sponsors; BCS Group, Kilkenny Construction Ltd. and our Charity Partners Anthony Nolan, saving the lives of people with blood cancer.

Roger Casements Ladies Football Team Coventry, are hoping to continue their 100% season and add to their County Championship Title with a win over Tír na nÓg of Yorkshire in the All-Britain Junior Championship Final in Manchester on Saturday 22nd September.
Come along for what’s bound to be an intense game of football, and a taste of what the GAA in the UK really means.

St. Brendan’s GAA
M33 6LR
Throw in 12.30pm