GAA delegation to European Traditional Sports and Games Festival spreads Gaelic games gospel
By John Harrington
The GAA sent a delegation to the European Traditional Sports and Games Festival in Perugia over the weekend to give a presentation on Gaelic games and demonstrate how hurling and Gaelic football are played.
The festival also incorporated the second TAFISA European Sport for All Games.
TAFISA is an acronym for The Association for International Sport for All, and has over 383 member organisations in more than 170 countries on all continents.
The GAA is not yet a member of TAFISA, but may apply to be after the visit to Perugia. Membership would give the Association a greater voice and recognition on a European and worldwide level.
An eight-person delegation was headed up by the GAA’s International Manager, Charlie Harrison, who gave a presentation to the TAFISA committee on the world-wide presence of Gaelic games in terms of the rapidly growing numbers of clubs and players outside of Ireland.
The TAFISA committee was also be briefed on hurling and camogie’s Unesco Cultural Heritage status, as well as the rules of both hurling and Gaelic football.
The sports themselves were also demonstrated on a rugby field in Perugia with the help of some players from Milan and Lazio GAA clubs.
One of the greatest challenges for GAA clubs outside of Ireland is securing sporting facilities.
The hope would be that by networking with other sports associations in Perugia and potentially joining TAFISA in time, that international GAA clubs might have a greater access to facilities and potentially even funding.