Gaelic mixes it up

The Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club is preparing for its first event of 2009, The Annual Digicel Mixed 9s Tournament.

This exciting tournament is on Saturday at the Rugby Club at South Sound at 10.30am and will see 10 teams compete for the Pete O’Neill memorial trophy.

These teams are comprised of men and women, of all abilities and beginners are welcome to go along and learn how to play.

It’s a great day out for all the family and a wonderful opportunity to introduce new friends and colleagues to the game.

‘I encourage anyone interested in either entering a team or participating to let us know as there are plenty of spots open on the various teams,’ said organiser Brian Hurley.

‘Over 142 players competed in the 2007 Digicel Mixed 9s event, so we are hoping for an even bigger and better event this year.’

Another chance for newcomers to learn how to play gaelic football is the Digicel League Orientation Day being held on Sunday, January 18. This training provides beginners with an opportunity to learn the rules of game and to learn the skills needed to play.

Hurley said: ‘In the past, this has proven hugely successful in giving new comers to the sport a run out and this day also greatly assists the committee in trying to chose as ‘balanced’ teams as is possible for the league.

‘This should be a great day out for all and we encourage anyone interested to come along and try out the game with a few of our veterans on hand to show them the ropes and get back in the swing of things for the league.’

Gaelic football is best described as a mixture of soccer and rugby, though it predates both of these. It is a field game which is also similar to Australian Rules Football.

It is believed that Australian Rules Football evolved from gaelic football through the thousands of Irish people who have emigrated to Australia since the middle of the nineteenth century.

The origins of Gaelic football predate recorded history, while the Gaelic Athletic Association was set up in 1884 by a nationalist Michael Cusack.

Today one of the main stands at Croke Park in Dublin is named after him. The GAA was set up to not only promote gaelic games (football, hurling, handball, camogie and rounders), but also to promote the Irish language, music and dance. Today it is the largest sporting association in Ireland

Hurley added: ‘Joining the Cayman Islands Gaelic Football Club is an excellent way to get fit, meet a diverse range of people and enjoy some great nights out!’

Anyone interested in becoming a member of the club should contact Brian Hurley at [email protected]