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Over 150 kiwis in Gaelic Football tournament

Wellington Gaelic Football Club


1st December 2008

Over 150 kiwis currently playing in Wellington Gaelic Football's mixed sevens tournament

Wellington's fastest growing sport Gaelic Football, has over 150 kiwis playing week in, week out in their seven a side summer competition, which started on the 12 November.  The games run each Wednesday evening at Ian Galloway Park in Wilton.

"We have been blown away by the interest from kiwis and the improvements they have made in such a short time in the skills of the game", said Combie Cryan President of Wellington Hutt Valley Gaelic football club, "To put it onto context before this competition we had roughly 20 kiwi players in our club, in 3 weeks we have 8 times that amount of people playing each week"

In the past we relied on Irish people passing through Wellington on their travels to make up numbers for the Gaelic Football club, but this is no longer the case due to the incredible interest shown by New Zealanders.

"We initially hoped for 4 - 6 teams consisting of 10 players with a strong Irish presence, but we have had to upgrade to a 12 team tournament with bigger squads and longer games and still we have new kiwis coming every night, which is great.  We run training games at the same time as the main competition games so everyone is getting plenty of game time and instructions on the core skills" 

This league is part of Wellington Gaelic football clubs plans for further developing Gaelic games in the region, with a focus on developing real foundations for the sport in Wellington amongst kiwi men and women. The redevelopment of our website to provide more interactive content and enhanced visibility through a quirky youtube campaign have also played key roles in drawing sports people and socialisers to the club.

Damas Potoi, who has just started to play in the sevens tournament said, "Once I heard about it I said id give it a go. I suppose because it was an Irish event and as the Irish are famous for having a good time, I thought id like to see if that was true! Ive got to meet all these new people who live in Wellington, not just from Ireland but all over the world.  It's an easy game to pick up, it's played in a great spirit and I have this new group of friends, so it's all good" 

Cryan added "We are really keen on showing people the great things about Irish culture, firstly our Gaelic sports and secondly our love of all things 'social', or the 'craic' as we say at home.  We are running a barbecue next Wednesday, 3 December, after our games in Ian Galloway part in Wilton and we would like to invite everyone to come along watch the games and enjoy a barbecue with us" 


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