Category Archives: Camogie

Belgium GAA Are Recruiting For 2016

The 2016 season is almost upon us, and this year’s a big one. Our hurlers  and camogs are aiming for their 4th European Championship title in a row and our ladies footballers  are aiming for  their 9th!

Are you Irish and working/studying over here   in Belgium this year?  Keep your ties with the GAA and join our family.  We’re looking for new members for our  Hurling, Camogie, Gaelic Football and Ladies Football teams.  All skill levels are welcome.

All nationalities are welcome too. We have players from Belgium, Estonia, Spain, Serbia, Colombia and even Cork!  Why not pick up one of our legendary Irish sports in 2016? We get  to play in tournaments all over Europe and the craic is mighty! If you don’t know what ‘craic’ is then come down to training to find out.

Training sessions

Training is at the VUB, Boulevard de la Plaine 2, 1050 Ixelles.

Ladies and Men’s Football every Monday and Thursday night beginning the 15th of February.  Hurling and Camogie training  every Monday and Thursday night beginning the 3rd of March.

Hurling
Mondays and Thursdays
19:30 – 20:45

Camogie
Mondays
19:30 – 20:45 (warm-up at 19:15)
Thursdays
20.45 – 22.00 (warm-up at 20.30)

Men’s Football
Mondays and Thursdays
20:30 – 22:00

Ladies’ Football
Mondays
20.45 – 22.00 (warm-up at 20.30)
Thursdays
19:30 – 20:45 (warm-up at 19:15)

Belgium GAA are recruiting for 2016

If you want to join up, email:  pro.belgium.europe@gaa.ie

Or get in touch with us via Facebook or Twitter.

All Stars you say?

 

BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 - it's here.
BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 – it’s here.

Kicking off early in the VUB, we’ll have mens, ladies, not quite ladies, not yet men’s matches all day: bring small change and notes because the formidable current players of Belgium GAA will be selling *raffle tickets* – oh yes, we’ll be doling out the prizes in Devs in the evening.

 

BUT – we’re also having a photo competition too, for the glory, honour and recognition and the promise of ‘Irish alcohol’ – tweet your photos of the day to @BelgiumGAA and @BelgiumGAA_AllStars2014 (quite the mouthful) and the best prizes, judged by an impartial jury, will be awarded the prize.

Hurling and Camogie Finals 2014 – Belgium do the double

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 07.39.37

The finals of the Hurling and Camogie competitions of 2014 came to Kituro Rugby Club – and our very own Paddy Donnelly’s brother wrote this report. We thought you’d enjoy it. He promotes GAA games both at home and abroad.

http://gaascores.com/2014/08/belgium-claim-european-hurling-and-camogie-championship-titles/

The final tournament of the European Hurling Championship took place in Brussels last week, with the home side claiming continental honours.

Belgium GAA won three out of the four tournaments this year to finish on a total of 95 points, with The Hague their closest rivals with 65. It was a Belgian double as the Camogs also claimed Championship success.

The 2014 tournaments took place in The Hague, Zurich, Luxembourg and Brussels where Irish men and women came together to enjoy that piece of home, despite being scattered across the continent.

Screen Shot 2014-08-12 at 07.48.01

Belgium Hurling Squad: 1. Adrian Hiel, 2. Kevin Keary, 3. Beartla de Burca, 4. Louis Sexton, 5. Niall Goodwin, 6. Kit Rickard, 7. John Kennedy, 8. James Clarke, 9. Padraic Burke, 10. Daire Cott, 11. Paddy Donnelly, 12. John Mortell, 13. Dermot Buttle, 14. Darragh Cotter, 15. Declan Hillary, 16. Tadhg Murphy, 17. Derek Dignam, 18. Denis O’Sullivan

Crusher returns to Europe, people bow down before him

Results

HURLING RESULTS

Belgium (3-7) v (1-4) Dresden/Cologne

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-2) v (4-7) Amsterdam

Dresden/Cologne (1-5) v (2-7) The Hague

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-1) v (9-7) Belgium

The Hague (1-7) v (1-5) Amsterdam

Dresden/Cologne (1-11) v (0-6) Viking Gaels/¨Paris

Amsterdam (0-7) v (4-7) Belgium

Viking Gaels/Paris (0-5) v (0-10) The Hague

3rd/4th

Amsterdam (4-9) v Dresden/Cologne (2-3)

Final

Belgium (2-9) v the Hague (2-6)

Winners: Belgium

FINAL STANDINGS HURLING

The Hague Zurich Lux Belgium TOTAL
Belgium (1st) 20 25 25 25 95
The Hague (2nd) 25 20 20 65
Dresden/Cologne (3rd) 11 (+2*) 16 (+2*) 13 (+2*) 13 (+2*) 53 (+8) 61*
Zurich (4th) 20 16 36
Amsterdam (5th) 11 16 27
Viking Gaels (6th) 13 11 24
Paris (7th) 16 16
Luxembourg (8th) 10 10

* (+2 points) – European Competitions Regulations 2014 Annex B/3g

CAMOGIE RESULTS

(c) Jane Brennan Photography
(c) Jane Brennan Photography

Belgium A (0-5)   v (2-1) Belgium B

Zurich (0-5)  v (3-2) Holland

Belgium A (4-10) v (0-3) Zurich

Belgium B (4-06) v (0-3) Holland

Belgium A (4-7)   v (2-1) Holland

Belgium B (3-7)   v (1-2) Zurich

3rd/4th

Holland (4-3) v (0-5) Zurich

 Final

Belgium A (1-2) v (1-3) Belgium B

Winners: Belgium B

BRUSSELS TOURNAMENT STANDINGS

Belgium B: 25 pts

Belgium A: 20 pts

Holland: 16 pts

Zurich: 13 pts

Final Belgian Ladies squad - As and Bs zusammen
Final Belgian Ladies squad – As and Bs zusammen

 

FINAL STANDINGS CAMOGIE

Zurich Lux Belgium TOTAL
Belgium A (1st) 25 25 20 70
Zurich (2nd) 20 16 13 49
Belgium B 20 25 45
Holland (3rd) 16 16
Luxembourg (4th) 13 13

Destination: Junkers Bunker (aka Lux)

together at lastFriday, 27th of June, 2014.

A surreal day. Brussels is locked down as European Heads of State come together in the aftermath of the European Parliamentary Elections 2014/*Bun Fight 2014 – to carve up who gets what part of European Priorities/cake for the next five years, and guess who is on the head of the list of conversation topics? One Mr. Jean Claude Junker, by now the most famous Luxembourgian to ever grace the planet. The personal attacks and the newsprint inches about his suitability for the role of Head of the Commission aside, we’re heading to his neck of the woods to play in the 2nd last round of the European GAA Hurling and Camogie Championship. I’m sure he’d love to join us, but he’s currently being slagged by the European Press and is otherwise occupied…

 

Grey bureaucrat, moi?
Grey bureaucrat, moi?

Luxembourg is lovely, even if the taxi drivers there aren’t up to much. But that’s just an aside.

Belgium’s hurlers are heading down with one team, and the camogs are sending two squads (divided this time, for some baffling reason, by hair colour). The battle of the Blondes v. the Brunettes and Luxembourg and a mixed team from Zurich and Holland will be the fun for the ladies, while established hurling teams will be flocking to prove their worth at different venues throughout the day.

A camogie workshop will also be provided – hosted with the group games at the International School of Luxembourg grounds in Merl. See http://www.islux.lu/page.cfm?p=687 and http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#merl for GPS co-ordinates and full addresses.

The tournament will then move on to Stade Michel Wagner in Weimerskirch (http://www.luxgaa.lu/?page_id=85#weimerskirch) where the Hurling matches as well as the final games of the Camogie tournament will take place at ISL – International School of Luxembourg. We’ ll be back up in Brussels to celebrate (we hope) in the Old Oak – please do join us there!

 

Save the date -2nd August – Camogie and Hurling Finals

Hurling&Camogie 2014 Info Packet

We’re delighted to host the finals of the Camogie and Hurling competition this year. It will be held on the 2nd of August in Brussels, in the Royal Kituro Rugby Club in Ave des Jardins in Schaerbeek, Brussels 1030.

The complete information pack, for your delight and delectation, is available on the clickable link above.

Dear Potential Tournament Attendee,
The Belgium Gaelic Athletic Association proudly invites you to the 2014 Hurling & Camogie European Finals, which will be held on Saturday, August 2nd, in the European Capital—Brussels.
We hope that this information package provides the necessary information for you to plan your attendance at this year’s Finals. If there is any additional information required, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely,
Shane Ryan
Belgium GAA Chairperson

1706-hurling

Zurich, a tale of difficult logistics

Zurich in the eloquent words of Sylvia McCarthy:

“If the sky, that we look upon

Should tumble and fall

All the mountains should crumble to the sea”

Trips to Zurich are never straightforward. Even this year, with direct flights from Brussels, there were glitches. Our brave Cherman, although fortified by the contents of her hip flask, faced the challenges of broken bus windows, unfriendly security guards, slow Quick service, crying babies and stormy weather over Basel. Never again, she proclaimed, and she did not go back on her word. The most valuable cargo came by car: all the hurleys and helmets, as well as the twins and their parents. Others fared better, imbibing beer and chocolate en route, while the worst fate faced by Aisling was my lack of nightwear. Never again, she proclaimed.

Unfortunately Belgium was the only camogie team that traveled to Zurich. This meant that on Saturday morning, a) we didn’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and b) when we finally got to the pitch, we had a skills/coaching workshop with a trainer from Armagh, before our matches took place. The natural competitiveness of the Belgians had Irene worried that we would burn ourselves out before the sun was even high in the sky, so she rotated around the group, keeping our fluid levels up and telling us to calm down on the jab lifts.

According to the ECB rules, a tournament, even between two teams, has to consist of at least an hour’s play. In this case, the captains agreed amicably to play two half-hour matches, in addition to accepting that we would take two brand-new camogues, Daniela from Lugano and Julia from Dresden, for their first camogie matches (hopefully the experience will encourage them to gather more players and to travel to more tournaments!). We started off playing 12-a-side (until Daniela took out a Zürcher). This old-school formation was new to most of us, consisting of a goalkeeper, three full backs, 1 centre half back, three midfielders, 1 centre half forward and three full forwards. In European terms, we created history with 24 players on the pitch and were able to put into practice all the skills our cherished captain had drilled into us since January. Burning on the goal-line, Maja kept a sharp eye on the ball and on her backs, Eimear, Aisling, Sylvia and Caoimhe. Eimear defended any ball foolish enough to cross her path, while Caoimhe and Aisling made savage attacks into the forward line. There were some fantastic overlaps with Margaux in midfield, clearing up every ball with speed and earning herself a deserved Player of the Tournament trophy. Coop, also in midfield, undid all the rest and relaxation of her holiday by turning into a beast. In the forward line, Jelena and Caoimhe D launched attack after attack on the Zurich goal, using defensive skills to score goals. While everyone else ran their legs off, Irene, our talented captain, chose her wise moments to pop score after score over the bar. By the second match, the sun was high in the sky and baking down on our helmets, so the full time whistle was welcome relief.

Beer drinking, chocolate eating winners
Beer drinking, chocolate eating winners

It was a pleasure to play Zurich, they are friendly and enthusiastic and appreciated us traveling to play them. The game was by no means a walk in the park, everyone played their socks off and this was reflected in the immense scoreline of 10-11 to 2 points. There is no room for complacency though, Luxembourg is only around the next corner and we need to be on top form for (hopefully) teams from Holland, Luxembourg and Paris.

The day ended with a walk back along by the train tracks, blustered by the high-speed trains gusting past. Waiting on the platform in the evening sun, slurping beer and ice-cream, I knew that I would stand by these women in battle and they would stand by me. Roll on Luxembourg and woo hoo Belgium!

Our humble reporter failed to mention her own powerful performance that earned her a mention among POTT contenders.

 

Camogie Blitz held in Brussels

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Lovely photo and keepsake from a super day yesterday. The inaugural Belgium camogie blitz was won by the Greyhounds (Rest of the World) with players from Germany, Sligo, Roscommon, Galway, Donegal, France, Derry and Belgium, who overcame both Munster and Leinster. Thanks to Jane Brennan for the photo.

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We’ve had brilliant camogie sessions this year, in no small part thanks to these two girls, who will be sorely missed! Thanks ladies!

St.Patrick’s Festival 2014 & One Life Two Clubs

St. Patrick’s Day, or fortnight, depending on your take on the whole national celebration thing, has become a wonderful fixture in the life of our little club. This year, 2014, was to be no different.

The sun shone, people showed up, the cakes were unreal, as ever, games were played, cruciate ligaments were dispatched with as is tradition, and the military pitch in the Cinquantenaire Park was home for one wonderful day. With our friends in FC Ireland, Bia Mara and the Irish Permanent Representation to the EU and the Irish Embassy, De Valera’s and the Old Oak, John Martin’s, Vyzion and the time, effort and energy of everyone who came, played, volunteers, enjoyed the sunshine and the day, it was a really lovely event. We had club members from near and far join for the weekend, which points to how much more than a sports club Belgium GAA is.

We were blessed with the weather and the iron fist organisation skills of our secretary Jelena, and for those of you who missed it, you’ll be able to see the footage from the weekend at the end of the year, when ‘One Life, Two Clubs‘ the current documentary film project of our very own Breandán Kearney gets released. If you’ve been at training recently, you’ll have noticed a man with a tripod in a rain jacket, not creeping about in the bushes, but filming the very rusty pre-season trainings, and traipsing up the road to Holland in the Benelux regionals at the begining of the year. This labour of love is the brain child of Breandán, who, despite living in Gent, really adds to Belgium GAA´s claim to the all country title. 

The documentary will chart the rise and well, rise (we hope) of the 2014 season, from the 1st training sessions at the start of the year, to the Maastricht final in October, months ahead. There’s something insane about working or studying full time and spending the bones of 8 hours of each week thundering up and down the astroturf pitches in the VUB, spending the weekend pucking around in the park and Sundays training the kids club out in Tervuren. Something insane, if you look at it at a purely rational point of view – ‘What, you play only tournaments?’, ‘You only get to play matches every six weeks if you’re lucky’… but playing GAA in Belgium isn’t fully rational. It’s slightly mad, and absolutely wonderful. It’s hard to describe the bonds that develop between the people you train hard with, play hard with, traipse around Europe with, playing these games that cause other commuters to stand back far away from you on crowded metros because hurls just seem to be that little bit scary. The way they become your surrogate family, your automatic go-to friends, and be it endorphins, be it the pure release of getting to run around and let it all go behind you, or the pure love of the games we play, the pleasure of sharing it with other people and seeing them in their turn start to adore it too, to seeing old friends coming back to play after injury and it feeling like they never left, its something that I know that my life would be much the poorer without. For many in our club, Belgium GAA is their first club, but for others, there are deep ties to others in Ireland, or even Canada too. And this, in our quintessential diaspora GAA club, our pan-European region, is part of the evolving face of the GAA.
It’s irrational, enriching, impoverishing (from a dry financial cost benefit point of view) but gives so very much more back in every other possible way.  Let me not evangelise any more. But please let me point you to this exciting and really deadly project that we’re part of. If you’re interested in finding out more about it, it has it’s own website and nifty blog too, on One Life, Two Clubs, so feel free to check it out.
In his own eloquent words, Brendán describes the project thusly.
There is a famous GAA quote that reflects the unique parochial and community nature of the Association. It goes something along the lines that every member has only one life and in that one life, they have by birth right only one club. It is a sentiment that reaches deep into the GAA psyche.

Many of us in Belgium GAA were indeed committed members of our clubs back home in Ireland. We were born into them. They taught us to play. They brought us community. They introduced us to the ideals of an Ireland in which we all wanted to be involved.

But there is a problem with that saying. Because we are here building a new community. It may be in a strange place and it may have a different dynamic to those clubs at home in Ireland, but it is no less important and certainly no less a part of us. In fact, for some, it has become the first club. For Belgium GAA members, that GAA saying is wrong.

In our club, there is a story.

There are amazing characters sprinkled out among all of the playing codes, committees and social networks.

There are friendships that have evolved into life-changing journeys together from chance meetings at tournaments where GAA seems, if it is possible, so out of place.

There are fascinating sporting relationships that have developed between clubs so unlinked it would not have seemed feasible only a few years ago, including the intense football rivalry with Guernsey.

And there are personal stories of emigration and transience; of community and togetherness; of personal failure and triumphant achievement.

One Life. Two Clubs’ is a film documentary project which sets out to tell this story. It is being produced by former Belgium GAA player and current member, Breandán Kearney, with the assistance of club committee member and player, Darragh Cotter. Mutiny Filmhouse, based in Belfast, will be assisting in a consultancy role.

The project invites anyone with a passion for Belgium GAA to get involved. That can be helping out with requests to film events within the club throughout the year; or contributing
any archive footage of club events in previous years and during 2014; or simply raising awareness of the project with friends and family in Belgium and back in Ireland, GAA or
otherwise.

To find out more and to become part of the community of this project, sign up for email updates and ‘like’ the project on facebook. All details are on the blog site for this project: http://onelifetwoclubs.wordpress.com/