Monday, November 30, 2015

Promoting the GAA Internationally

There's been lots written over the past week about promoting the GAA internationally following the International Rules game in Dublin and the 'Classic' Hurling match between Galway and Dublin in Fenway Park.

Keith Duggan in Saturday's Irish Times claimed that 'The world is happy to leave Gaelic Games to the Irish' and that the exposure gained from such an event is not going to impact playing numbers in the US. His opinion was echoed by many others who don't see the point.

However, as Dessie Farrell pointed out if the right strategy is adopted then games like the Super 11 can have an important promotional as well as developmental role. But then who is going to adopt the right strategy? Is it the GAA's role or the GPA's role? Or shouldn't they be working together?

Why weren't hurling teams based in the US and Canada invited to participate in a Super 11 tournament that could have taken place the same weekend in Boston with the Galway v Dublin match the culmination of a hurling weekend? Am sure teams like Indianapolis and Milwaukee who are made up of almost all Americans would have been thrilled to be invited, take part and see the best players in their chosen sport in action. 

And we don't have to look very far abroad to see that Gaelic Games ARE growing outside of Ireland with keen interest from non-Irish to grow the game. For example, in France this weekend the French Gaelic Football Federation welcomed Azur Gaels, the 23rd club to join the federation and in the same weekend Brittany inaugurated the first women's championship with three teams participating.

But that's not all, there's more to come with several more Gaelic football teams planned in Angers, Caen, Narbonne and Saint-Lô.

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