The BBC are reporting the most unlikely of GAA related stories today.
A school in Southall, west London, whose student body is comprised mainly of children from indian and somali backgrounds, is about to field a Gaelic football team.
The situation arose when members of the teaching staff at Featherstone High School encouraged their colleague, Brendan Doherty, to set up a series of “trial games” to give the kids a taste of a new sport. “The interest was huge straight away”, said the Irishman.
Peru Sharma, the captain of the Southall Shamrocks, told the BBC “I’m Indian and cricket was huge in my background, but Gaelic football has taken over”. The youngster also intimated that it was the continuously high paced and physical nature of the game that most appealed to him.
The team will soon travel to Dublin, to visit Croke Park. Their trip will also include a game against a team of, what presenter Paul Hawkins described as, “Ireland’s most promising youngsters”.
In the piece Hawkins also states “the Gaelic revolution shows no signs of dying out, the success of the boy’s team has led to the girls demanding a side of their own”.
“Gaelic revolution” seems a suitable phrase these days as this isn’t the first international GAA story we have reported in recent weeks.
In fact there has been a glut of material on the subject.
Bryan Barry has written pieces both, on the growth of collegiate hurling in the United States, and the love of hurling that has developed among a group of U.S army veterans. Alan Drumm also reported on the massive twitter reaction televised hurling provoked in Canada last week, a situation similar to the one witnessed last year when hurling debuted on British T.V.
Now that Gaelic football has gotten in on the act, maybe it’s time for us to realise that our national sports have a more global appeal than we think.
Here is the BBC report. Don’t miss a tidy little finish from one of the kids at the close of the video.