Category Archives: Hurling

Hurlers held in Den Haag final – 1st round

Belgium’s finest hurlers travelled north for the 1st round of the European Hurling Championship, held in Den Haag. The other teams represented were Den Haag, Dresden, Vikings, .

Image

It was a difficult day for the hurlers, who lost out in the final to the Hague, having lost two players earlier in the day to injury. However, the only way is up, and we look forward to more from this team.

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/

A new year, a new start, a new committee, where to begin?

Well hello there. Ahem. Can you hear me? I hope so.


This post comes with apologies and with thanks. Thanks firstly to the committee members from last year for all of the hard work that they put in running the wondrous thing that is Belgium GAA, an apology for not having this updated instantly with the news of your newly elected committee, but I’ve got this post up in time for the beginning of training, officially, which is next Monday coming, Monday the 3rd of February. Rub the sleep from the winter hibernation out of your eyes, root out any gear that you might have left in your home (preferably wash it before you bring it back too) and find your football boots again, because all codes are back from Monday next. Same times, same places, at the VUB sports pitches.


I mentioned the outgoing committee and their sterling work, but wanted to take the time to introduce you all to the new 2014 committee, without violating their privacy too much, but so that you know who to ask with all or any questions you may have for the coming year.

2014 Committee –  or, Shane, Jelena, Oliver, Declan, Elaine, Niall, Jane, Padraic, Sylvia, Anna and Darragh.

 

Shane, probably could have been a gymnast

So lets start with the Chairperson. This year, like the second half of last year, Shane Ryan will be the chair. When asked to describe him in a few words, these come to mind. He’s energetic, positive, communicative, a hurler, a Limerickman and a phenomenal Jagerbomber. All great things. To contact him with all sorts of questions, you’ll be able to email him at

chairperson.belgium.europe (a) gaa.ie 

 Jelena holding onto 2013’s literary masterpiece

Jelena is our one and only Serbian powerhouse. I kid you not. This woman gets things done. No messing. Not only is Jelena our Secretary for the second year in a row, a role that she has excelled in (and potentially deserves a sainthood for), she is also involved in the upper echelons of the Bass empire, running European GAA.  No joke. So great is her love for camogie, she may have once donated a fingernail to the sport, but she has also become a phenomenal goalie for ladies football. Too many words. I’m going to stop now.  secretary.belgium.europe (a) gaa.ie will get her should you need to contact her, but I promise you, she´ll contact you!

Ah go on!

Oliver is our money man, officially called Treasurer, for the third year running, again, an incredible job. I cant find any photos from his time as a dancing priest, but please pay your fees, or Oliver will have to get serious with you. Running a club this size, and with this level of commitment and success requires serious organisation, and Oliver contributes hugely to this. Here he is, observing the dancing priest competition. 

belgiumgaa.treasurer (a) gmail.com will get you Oliver should you need him.

Declan (Deccie) is this years Assistant Secretary. So he does all sorts of wonderful things. He, in his spare time, is the Linguistic and Cultural officer for the European County Board, but is an accomplished actor, a phenomenal footballer, and can walk for a really long time in one go (100kms in one go is his personal best record so far).  

(Late edit, Declan has his own email address now) 

belgiumgaa.assistantsecretary (a) gmail.com for walking, method acting and general assistance tips. 

Nach bfhuil si go h’ailinn?

Caoimhe Ní Shúilleabháin is the our Irish Club Liaison Officer and European Ladies Football officer. Caoimhe is involved in all sorts, a prolific campaigner, a proud Wicklow woman, she’s very involved in Na Gaeil i gcéin, Seachtain na Gaeilge, getting people motivated and getting heaps of people interested in training the kids club (speaking of which, training is starting back for the kids club this weekend at the Astro Pitches at the BSB).  

ladiesfootballofficer.europe (a) gaa.ie will reach Caoimhe if you need her. 

We move on now to the code officers, the people who email you weekly with all sorts of important things. Make sure you’re signed up on Teamer. Generally do what they say, read the whole email, and all will go well 🙂

1/2 a Tipp tackle

Elaine (Young) Kennedy is this years Camogie officer. A recent returnee, Elaine has great things ahead for us this year. With captain/coach Irene, the Camogie branch of the club is in very good hands. Not that I should tell you here, but there’s talk of joining the Quidditch championship being played in Brussels this weekend, to see how brooms compare to hurls. We’ll let you know how it goes. Elaine is a keen iceskater, so we’ll see how the Canadian’s promised introduction of ice hockey goes for this camogie woman. 

belgiumgaa.camogie (a) gmail.com will get you Elaine. Training starts back on Monday 3rd of Feb indoors in the VUB from 7. Join!

Niall loves hurling      

 Niall Goodwin is taking on the mantle of the men’s hurling team. A former meme teenstar on the internet, Niall is looking forward to bringing the men’s hurling team on to great success this year. From Waterford originally, but part Naas and part Eurobrat, living in Brussels for a good spell at this stage, Niall sends out the unmissable hurling update weekly from hurling.belgium (a) gmail.com

Jane in flight

Jane Brennan is this years Ladies Football officer, retaking over her role after a two year break from running the show. There is no organisational feat that this most practical of people cannot achieve, as well as being one of the ‘originals’. Jane is excellent and an enthusiastic photographer, so every image of you looking slightly awkward and sweaty while wearing the wonderful shiny red shorts of Belgium GAA, either Jane or her camera has captured it. La Fent is captaining the ladies team this year, and with Jane they’ve arranged the 1st challenges of 2014, getting a Paidi O’Se tournament together (22nd and 23rd of Feb) and a 10km fundraiser in Dendermonde (in only 52 days time).

belgiumgaa.ladiesfootball (a) gmail.com is how you can contact Jane, and training is back from Monday 3rd from 8pm. 

P is this snazzy all the time

Padraic Varley, Galway man, successfully lobbied, robbed, bribed and stole (intense campaigning and lobbying) to get the coveted position (against a host of opponents) of men’s football officer. He promises a no nonsense regime of all organisational and logistical things football. This role is his dream come true.


Trainings will be Monday and Thursday from 20.00 – 21.30 in the VUB, and Padraic is hosting the 1st of the years team meetings after training on Monday 3rd. 

football.belgium (a) gmail.com will be the best way to reach him.

The other three remaining people on the committee look after glamorous things like this blog, your social events and socks. All fairly great really. So last but not least, here are the last of us. 

 

Doin her thing

Sylvia McCarthy, of the Cork baking dynasty and utter baking and blogging legend is another ‘original’, a dual player, previous PRO and all round good egg. She’ll be doing her best to sort out exciting social events for us this year as our Social Secretary. I have no doubt that you’ll be entertained in all sorts of wonderful ways, but please do send her on suggestions and ideas too! She’s also a very very happy runner – check her out in her annual 10km run in Dendermonde!
belgium.gaa.social (a) gmail.com 

 

Darragh vs. the Berlaymont

Darragh Cotter was once sent to Uganda to sort out a truce between the Belgian boys teams and some of our neighbours in the Hague, but it didn’t work out, the rivalry there is still as stiff as ever, and he’s back again amongst us. Holds a joint record with Conor DeBarra for the longest journey to a tournament, he’s back to equip us all with all of the accoutrements we might need, our Equipment Officer

Though it might read like something from the Wire, rest assured, this is a completely legitimate email address. 

Darragh’s contact details are belgiumgaa.gear (a) gmail.com 

 

Jumping for joy

I served time as ladies football officer, but this year will be here, doing this and that, while hoping to keep you updated on the goings on for the four codes, club thingys, etc. Please do email me at pro.belgiumgaa (a) gmail.com, and bear with while we try and resolve a few niggles with the website. 

 

Belgium GAA Christmas Quiz

The European Camogie and Hurling Champions Belgium GAA would like to invite you to our Christmas Table Quiz Fundraiser!

It will be a great night with own quizmaster extraordinaire and prizes on the night!

It’s just 5 euro per person with a maximum of 5 people per team.

Make life easy and book a table for your team in advance by e-mailing belgiumgaa.camogie@gmail.com

So please invite all friends, family, co-workers and quiz lovers to the 6 Nations Bar (48-50 Rue Gretry) on Wednesday the 18th of December at 8pm.

Double delight as Belgium GAA are crowned European Hurling and Camogie Champions

A dramatic day ended with the hurlers taking the European crown in the dying minutes in a tight final against The Hague, winning by just one point. The final whistle marked a unique double for the club on the Hurling/Camogie front as the ladies also took their championship on the final day despite a narrow loss to Holland in the final.

An incredible amount of work and effort has gone into sustaining and developing hurling and camogie in Belgium GAA and the results today speak volumes of the efforts of code officers, trainers and of course players who racked up visits to Paris, Luxembourg and Zurich on their road to victory.

 

Congratulations to all involved. More in depth reports and pictures will follow in the Belgium GAA Newsletter in September.

 

 

 

 

CAMOGIE:

 

Belgium 4-6 v Luxembourg 1-4
Belgium 1-3 v Holland 0-8
Holland 4-6 v Luxembourg 2-3

 

FINAL: 

BELGIUM 1-4 v HOLLAND 2-6

 

HURLING:

 

Dresden 0-5 v Belgium 5-7
Luxembourg 2-3 v The Hague 3-17

Paris 1-1 v Dresden 2-12
Belgium 0-5 v The Hague 1-12

The Hague 6-9 v Dresden 0-5
Luxembourg 8-15 v Paris 0-3

 

Belgium 6-12 v Paris 2-3

Luxembourg 7-9 v Dresden 1-4

The Hague 6-22 v Paris 0-3
Belgium 3-9 v Luxembourg 0-2

 

 

FINAL: 

BELGIUM 2-8 v THE HAGUE 2-7

Hurling/Camogie Round 2 Luxembourg – 1 June 2013

Ladies fight back to win, while men face stern tests. 

Camogie

Belgium Ladies recorded a vital victory in round 2 of the Camogie Campionship, defeating Paris ladies (Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6)) in the final.

The ladies overturned the loss from round one and are now tied with Paris at the top of the table heading into Round 3.

The ladies came through the group games, narrowly defeating Paris by 2 points in the first game (Belgium (2-6) – Paris (2-4)), a narrow 1 point defeat to Holland (Holland (1-8) – Belgium (2-4)), didn’t derail their progress as the ladies recovered well, to win comfortably against hosts Luxembourg (Belgium (4-8) – Luxembourg (4-0)).

The final offered a chance to stay right in the hunt for the championship against a strong Paris side. However, the ladies make no mistake taking the spoils Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6).

Hurling

After an opening win in Paris, Belgium men looked to continue where they left off, but stern tests awaited them in Luxembourg.

In the opening game the Belgium hurlers faced a combined Zurich/Paris side, who by all accounts combined well on the day. However, Belgium had that bit extra on the combined side and ran out winners by 5 points.  (Belgium (3-8) – Zurich/Paris (3-3)).

The first examination against an improved Hague team came in the second group game, with the Hague running out winners by 5 points. (Den Haag (2-6) – Belgium (1-4)).

However, like the ladies the hurlers did not let the defeat derail their progress and recorded good wins against Luxembourg and Dresden/Cologne in their last two group games. Belgium (2-7) – Luxembourg (1-6), Belgium (4-9) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (0-5).

The final offered a second chance against the Hague, but a few new additions to their squad made a significant difference as they defeated Belgium by Den Haag (2-13) – Belgium (0-8).

 

And the score breakdown

Hurling

GROUP GAMES


Luxembourg (4-7) Zurich/Paris (2-3)
Den Haag (4-14) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (1-3)
Belgium (3-8) – Zurich/Paris (3-3)
Luxembourg (6-8) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (1-5)
Den Haag (2-6) – Belgium (1-4)
Zurich/Paris (3-6) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (2-9)
Belgium (2-7) – Luxembourg (1-6)
Den Haag (2-12) – Zurich/Paris (0-2)
Belgium (4-9) – Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf (0-5)
Den Haag (1-5) – Luxembourg (0-7)

 

FINAL
Den Haag (2-13) – Belgium (0-8)

 

RANKING
1. Den Haag – 25 pts
2. Belgium – 20 pts
3. Luxembourg – 16 pts
4. Zurich/Paris – 7,5 pts* **
5. Dresden/Cologne/Düsseldorf – pts

* Zurich & Paris shared (13+2) pts
** bonus points awarded for fielding minimum of two non-Irish born players

 

Camogie

Holland (4-8) – Luxembourg (2-1)
Belgium (2-6) – Paris (2-4)
Paris (7-7) – Luxembourg (1-1)
Holland (1-8) – Belgium (2-4)
Belgium (4-8) – Luxembourg (4-0)
Paris (4-7) – Holland (2-10)

 

FINAL
Belgium (4-7) – Paris (2-6)

 

RANKING
1. Belgium – 25 pts
2. Paris – 20 pts