I’d like to welcome old and new members to the club for the 2013 season, Belgium GAA’s TEN year anniversary. I’d like to say a massive thanks to the outgoing committee for their hard work in 2012 and in previous years. This year’s committee stands on the shoulders of giants!
Last year was an incredibly successful year for the club both on and off the pitch. I’m sure if it wasn’t for the financial support and fundraising, our trophy cabinet would not be as full. We received fantastic support from our sponsor’s (DeValera’s and the Old Oak) and all club members helped fundraise to make sure that our Treasurer had an operating surplus at the end of the year. Considering our expenditure for 2012 was €17,464 with pitch rental alone at the VUB costing €9420, that was no mean feat. To sustain this level of investment we need a huge effort again in fundraising and a generous sponsor.
I’m delighted to announce that for 2013, De Valera’s, the Old Oak and 6 Nations will be our sponsors. We’ve signed an exclusive sponsorship agreement with them this week which holds expectations from both sides – the club will be paid a fixed amount for fifteen (or possibly more) official events that we hold in either venue, including the end of year dinner, quizzes, post tournament nights out and watching some of the main GAA games on TV. This Sunday our sponsors play a massive role in the organisation of St.Patrick’s Day, securing sponsorship from drink companies and utilising contacts to get the club great deals on the facilities we use on the day. With the sponsorship, the club saves a significant amount on VAT which is important for this year if we order jerseys/gear/equipment. In total the club will benefit €4,000-€4,500 through sponsorship. In return for this, we have agreed to support and promote our sponsors in all communications and at pitchside for Belgium tournaments. Again like last year we’ve agreed not to promote any other bar in Belgium GAA emails, facebook etc.
One of our aims for this year is to involve as many of the wider Irish/Belgian/international community in club events. This year we will receive a grant of €5,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs for a project which the heroic Shane Ryan created entitled ‘Brussels Community Gaelic Football Parish league’. We will run a parish league throughout the year that involves the wider Belgium/Irish/international community, especially the kids club. More info will follow from the code officers. I’d also like to create some open events where people who have never played Gaelic Games and who are possibly scared of official training, could come and pick up a hurl/football and learn about our sport and our club. I’d especially like to target those who are slightly older and who haven’t played in years due to family commitments.
Finally I’m making a personal plea to all members to strengthen the Belgium GAA Meitheal by volunteering and helping the club in 2013. Each member should recognise the costs of running the club and the effort people put in to make sure this club is such a success. Some members pour their heart into the club – by researching new drills for training, organising gear, picking up rubbish after tournaments and cleaning toilets after the Fr.Ted ceili, or moving goal posts with mice in the back of a van etc. We need your help at all times. If you feel like you could contribute to the club by writing a post match analysis, or buying bananas in Colruyt or anything else you can think of please contact us. Tell your friends, invite them to our events and most importantly get people playing our wonderful Gaelic Games.
Go n-éirí libh go léir,
That’s it – no more end-of-season dinners, no more Race Nights, no more Fr. Ted Céilis and no more St. Patrick’s Day Festivals.
The House Always Wins
VIP tables were available to the highest bidders, and were bought by Coca-Cola, FC Irlande, the Perm-Rep, club members, to name but a few, and were rewarded with a personal betting service, free food and bottles of champagne. The rest of the plebs were left to find a good vantage point at the bar, while those with seats were perched on their edges for most of the evening.
Sponsorship on the night was very generous, coming from the European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science, Maire Geoghegan Quinn, MEPs Sean Kelly, Liam Aylward and Pat the Cope Gallagher, as well as De Valera’s itself, Six Nations, O’ Reillys, Delish, Kinsale Equestrian Centre, Aspria. The Grand Finale prize came from KTL Power and Telecoms. For more information on the night, the programme (in colour!!) is available here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B-2NuPg-Cx1JZGM0NjI2MzktZGM1OS00MzY1LTg2NzItMTI4NTNjMDk5MjM2&hl=en_US.
The extra-special event on the night was the Belgium GAA Champion Chase, which was won by Conor Mulvihill (horse) and Catherina Horan (jockey). The video of this spectacular event is embedded below:
Many thanks to De Valeras for hosting the event and congratulations to the team of lads, led by the mighty Colin Byrne, who made sure that everything ran smoothly and successfully on the night. The most recent estimation of proceedings was at €2,500, but then Colin went off to Spain for 10 days so that figure may have been depleted.
(back row, l-r): JP Mulherin, Dermot Bergin, Fergal Mythen, Kevin Keary, Sinead Fitzsimons, Laura Whiskerd, Anay Rios and Gráinne Ní Fhlatharta
(front row, l-r): Marian O’ Malley, Jess O’ Flynn, Jane Brennan
Missing from photo: Caoimhe Ní Shuilleabháin
Thanks to all those friends, families and colleagues who sponsered the runners.
(Note: everyone is welcome to join Sylvia McCarthy in her replacement race later in the year.)
Come along to our Halloween themed quiz, complete with scary cocktails, spooky music, and the opportunity for you all to get dressed up in your ghoulish gear (optional but preferable). There will be great prizes on offer.
€5 per person, maximum 5 people per table. Reserve early and on time by emailling Laura (firstname.lastname@example.org).
De Valera’s have kindly offered to award a €100 prize for the Best Costume of the Night!!!
Belgium GAA and FC Irlande are once again jointly organising the fantastic and fun St Patrick’s Day Festival in Parc Cinquantenaire in the heart of Brussels from 11:30 til late this Sunday 14th March.
Festivities will include BBQ and Bar, fun games for all the family, Gaelic Football, Hurling and Soccer, as well as music and general merrymaking…hail, rain or shine!
In the evening the festivities will continue with gusto in Bar 1898 on Rond Point Schuman with traditional Irish music, dancing and even more merrymaking!
It promises to be another famous event marking one of the highpoints of the year for the large and vibrant Irish community and friends in Brussels.
All are welcome and don’t forget to invite your friends and family.
Further info: http://www.paddysday.be