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.

A Belgian belle returns

MBros on TV3, showing them how it's done

A post from our very own Bros about the impending weekend

It’s been six long months since I last set foot in Brussels – the longest I’ve stayed away since 2008, and I feel it, most acutely, in my soul. I’m in denial that Brussels and Belgium GAA continues on without me – sure how in the name of God could it survive without the Bomber? But it does, and training goes on, and new members join, and the craic is had and Championships are won. But it’s incredibly comforting to know that when I do return I can slide right back in as if I never left. And that’s all down to the club spirit of openness and the common bond that once you’ve thrown on the Craobh Rua jersey – the team, the club, Belgium GAA, never leaves you!

This is the second year for the Ladies All Stars and turnout from our side is a bit low. I could have done a bit more to cajole former players to book flights, but we have Malice, Aine Mc, and Rosine making the huge effort to fly over from Dublin. I’ve also tempted Jess, Mary B, Amy-Louise, Aine Murph and Clare Applebee to don the jersey for the day! We have numbers for a Camogie match and for the football we’re going to divide up the games into All Stars V Belgium GAA, Over 30s v Under 30s, but my personal favourite is 2008/2009 vs the rest. With the latter I’m allowed to return to my 23 year old self walking through the gates of Park 50 basking in the sunshine, with a quick glance up at the lads to spot the talent – not bad in fairness. At my first training, despite having clocked Anay, Babs invited me to Madrid for the tournament. That’s how it is with Belgium GAA – throw yourself into it or stay on the sidelines.

2008 was the most special. We had five pan-euro tournaments that year – hard fought. We had the bare bones of a team and had epic battles. Our spirit strengthened, friendships were forged. We were a new club, a new team, against the odds, taking on Europe. Victories in Madrid, Luxembourg, Rennes, Munich ensued and we took our first European Championship in Maastricht. We didn’t know what it meant but we knew it felt good to win and we didn’t want to let go of that trophy. And we haven’t since!

Camogie holds a place in my heart – in all the sports I’ve played I have never felt a bond with my teammates as I have with a hurl in my hand. The sacrifice and determination to win a Camogie championship takes sheer hard work, one that binds a team together for life. Ill never forget Aisling Fenton stopping a fast sliotar with her chest in Thurles. She tempted serious injury by putting her body on the line for the good of the team. I sympathise with people who have never experienced that connection.

Whenever Belgium GAA wins, we use to shout out “Its a great day for the Parish”. There is a sense of community instilled in the Club. The Club welcomes anyone who has moved to the parish with open arms. Members give up so much of their time for the good of the parish- to coach, plan trainings, fundraise, volunteer, collect goalposts in a different country, sell raffle tickets, clean toilets after a Fr.Ted night – but they reap what they sow – Belgium GAA is the best club in Europe.

I have moved back to Dublin to start a different life but I am grateful to the universe for allowing me be part of this club. I learnt a lot in my years, some great lessons on and off the pitch that made me a better person. Even now in Dublin, my closest friends are ex-club members and I know for certain that they will be friends for life. There is something so special about this club, the community it creates, the meitheal it instills. I miss it dearly.

Craobh Rua abú!

Race Against Nature: Belgium GAA overcome muddy obstacles

That’s where they were! Men’s fundraising efforts going on wonderfully well! Still time to support them! Hat tip of course to the wonderful people behind One Life Two Clubs

One Life. Two Clubs.

A group of seven brave footballers from Belgium GAA accepted the challenge set down by the Race Against Nature in Averbode on Sunday and took on the muddy obstacle course to raise money for the club.

Race Against Nature

The day began at a meeting point on the outskirts of Brussels because of car-free day and ended in an Irish pub in Leuven with the All-Ireland final between Donegal and Kerry.

Race Against Nature

The Race Against Nature is part of the Spartacus Series and involves team members crawling through mud, jumping over walls, wading through rivers and running through forests. It is an exhilarating challenge and one which the Belgium GAA team accomplished with no small amount of gritty determination and strong teamwork.

Race Against Nature

There were a few celebratory pints of Guinness at the end of the day to celebrate….

Race Against Nature

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An Open Letter to the All-Stars

It’s that time of year again….

One Life. Two Clubs.

Dear All-Stars,

It’s that time of year. You’re coming back.

You have a big role to play on Saturday and you know it. Your job – a very important one – is to remind the guys and girls that line out for Belgium GAA in 2014 that they have a lot to live up to; that they are keeping the jersey warm for the next group coming through; that it should mean as much to the current crop to play for this club as it did and still does to you.

You will do that in a variety of ways – by booking flights and taking days off work; by making the long journey over to Belgium; by wiring into the current team on the pitch, preparing them for the challenges that lie ahead of them in Maastricht next month.

It is precisely because the All-Stars is an event of…

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A days work done (for les damsels), men to fight again tomorrow morning @10:00

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We’re dissecting the finer points of today’s play in Stockholm, let it not be said that the Stockholm Gaels cannot organise a stunner of a tournament, because today would then have to beg to refute you.

Stockholm is a magnificent city built on 7 islands in an archipelago of wonderful proportions (your dear author nearly had a conniption when we exited our final tunnel and flew down a bridge over & beside & around the waterside – Stockholm is fairytale made life.) That aside, perfect 18° and semi clouded football weather, fair refs, gold competitive football, lovely buzz and crowds at the venue all day. {The sports  fitness classes we witnessed were also memorable – called either frumble rumble, or grapple, they were an interactive series of ‘primal movements’, generally carried out in pairs, but akin to well, things that aren’t generally carried out in public parks in the repressed southern countries from where we hale. By why ever the hell not?} The Swedish – Irish society also deserve an extra special shout out for providing tea, coffee, cakes, taytos and biscuits for us and all passers by freegratis! It was so lovely and much appreciated.

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There’s a cup involved. They’re looking after it well. Here’s how the day went….

Belgium A 5-13 v Munich 2-3
Holland 6-11 v Stockholm 2-4
Munich 4-14 v Gothenburg/Bordeaux 1-3
Stockholm v Belgium B 2-6
Belgium A 9-29 v Gothenburg/Bordeaux 0-1
Holland 4-12 v Belgium B 2-7

Then we had lunch. Not fikka. Nor open sandwiches, but proper lunch.

Then the football calmly started up again.
Playoff stages now.
Belgium B faced Gothenburg/Bordeaux and won. 4-12 to 0-3

Semi final one saw Belgium A dispatch Stockholm 4 -23 to 0-1.
Holland ladies finished at 2-12 in a tight match against Munich who managed 2-10.

Final face off, countdown, battle for the ages? Belgium A v Holland ladies. I’ve spoiled the ending by posting the cup photos haven’t I? Well. A great, exciting final was had – and Belgium A won.

We’re celebrating our newest Rose of Tralee nomination too (ask for videos). Its another step closer to the 2014 championship for the Belgian Ladies, while Belgian men are in bed tucked up asleep – ready and raring to go we hope at ten tomorrow 🙂

To Maastricht and the north

Belgium ladies and men’s teams are split today – with the two ladies football teams taking on the first pan Euro of their season and a men’s 15-a-side playing on Maastricht. As we have yet to manage bilocation, Jelena will be reporting from the Netherlands and I’ll be covering the action up north….

Best of luck to all teams!

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From the Lovely Laney
All roads lead to Stockholm, as 17 strong, fit and determined Belgian women descend the Swedish Capital for the second round of the Pan European Ladies Football Championship.

After a very successful day out in the Munich round, where the Belgian Ladies took home both the Shield and Championship trophies, captain Aisling Fenton is expecting a strong display from both sets of panels.

‘We have prepared very well for this tournament and we are really looking forward to a competitive day of football. We are expecting very stiff competition from the local teams, as well as Holland and Munich.’

Vice-captain Anay Rios, who has dubbed the tournament ‘the Dancing Queen Tour’ is hoping the Belgian girls will continue to play the free flowing football that saw them win the first round in very impressive fashion.

‘I’m hoping the girls will continue to work as a team, move the ball quickly and take score like they did in Munich.’

‘We will just take each game at a time and hope we play to our potential. The nature of European football is that there are surprises at every tournament, we can take nothing for granted and we need to be 100% focussed going into every game’.

The trip to Stockholm marks the fifth tournament of the year. Belgium ladies have successfully sent two teams to each of these tournaments, no mean feat given the costs involved.

Best of luck to all the girls, hopefully they will we celebrating on the streets of Stockholm on Saturday night!

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

OOOOoorrrrmmmmmmggggg *We have another tourament in Brussels goys

Hello from Wexford, hopeful hurling and definite camogie capital of Ireland. I’ll find and source lots of photos from the weekends action in Thurles this Sunday with Belgium GAAs finest Camogie officer, Erraine Kennedy, Miss Nickie O’Pacheo and one Lulu Moylan, Belgium GAAs erstwhile Alternative-Irish-Outreach-Liaison-Officer – BUT – in the risk of sounding like someone trapped in repeat post traumatic disorder, we’ve got a tournament going on, its the HURLING AND CAMOGIE EUROPEAN FINAL, it’s going to be seventeen shades of sunburn *(there’s a strong case to be made for us to get some sort of sponsorship deal with a sun cream outfit – Johnson and Johnson, here’s looking at you), sorry, I mistyped, it’s going to be seventeen shades of awesome, and *you*, yes *YOU*, THE ONE HIDING BEHIND YOUR LAPTOP, YES, YOU SHOULD COME AND JOIN US.

Ahem.

Sinead has created a booklet that I’ve linked to before with all of the possible details in it – the poster for you to share and invite your friends/colleagues/lovers/friends etc is in the gestation period (difficult creatives!) at the moment, and will be with you shortly, but with t-9 days till the final of the Hurling and Camogie 2014 European season to go, I just wanted to share some decor options, some fancy ass t-shirts and some interesting graphics for you all. And see you at Kituro!

Such stellar athleticism will certainly be on display in Kituro
Such stellar athleticism will certainly be on display in Kituro
http://www.pinterest.com/pin/13370130118915191/
Just, sigh.

For the house that has everything, but missing that little something - a camogie decal to brighten up even the darkest of places Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.34.31 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.34.47 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.04 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.15 Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 16.35.31

What if football hadn’t been invented? Prospect magazine examines the ghastly prospect

Matthew Taylor is professor of history at the International Centre for Sports History and Culture at De Montfort University and in this months edition of Prospect magazine, chiming with the World Cup extravaganza he asks the question, “What if football hadn’t been invented?”. 

A meeting held on the 26th of October 1863 with representatives of 12 clubs at the Freemasons Tavern in London discussed the common aspects of this newly established came, which was, at that stage, played with very different techniques, rules, and practices…. No particular rules about biting shoulders, but creating compulsory composite rules about ‘hacking’ (at shins in this case) and ‘running with the ball’ or dribbling as the main method of propulsion of the ball were discussed.

He goes on to examine what different advocates pursued – and the eventual establishment of the Football association, the Rugby Football Union and the establishment of these two different sports. But could a game like Gaelic have been the one been the one that soldiers, engineers, and colonial officials took with them as they endeavoured to create an empire where the sun never set? Taylor sees the impact of ‘British sports’ as a result of the global power and influence of Britain itself, positing that any sport could have had the same success, as football flourished in parts of South America, Africa and Asia and embraced as a national sport, and, with the introduction of the World Cup in 1930, became a global game.

As we too participate in a global game with ever increasing popularity, it’s interesting to consider what if and what next? Our national sports are now played and viewed around the world, with diasporic and historical routes and roots, what could the future hold for the games in the next 100 years? 

Continue reading What if football hadn’t been invented? Prospect magazine examines the ghastly prospect

We're the biggest GAA club in Europe, with over 100 members playing in all 4 codes: Hurling, Camogie, Men’s and Ladies’ Gaelic football. New members are always welcome, so why not give it a try! Email us on pro.belgium.europe@gaa.ie