Posted: 1 week ago

Strabane cross community group do their town, schools and themselves proud in London Gaelic Games experience

Strabane group in London

A group of Strabane girls created memories of a lifetime when they travelled to London to represent their schools and town in the All-Britain Competition (ABC Games), as part of their involvement in Ulster GAA’s Cúchulainn Initiative.

The Cúchulainn Initiative is Ulster GAA’s flagship cross community programme which brings together young people from different community backgrounds through Gaelic Games. The Strabane Cúchulainns, comprised of girls from Holy Cross College and Strabane Academy, took part in the U16 Girls Competition held at the Hazelwood Centre – the home of London Irish rugby team.

Even though some players only started playing Gaelic Games a matter of weeks ago, the group represented themselves with distinction exhibiting incredible skills, passion and teamwork as they came up against established clubs in Britain.

In the group stages, the girls enjoyed wins over Gaeil Londain and Claddagh Gaels to progress to the Cup quarter finals. Following a tight encounter with Sean McDermotts, the teams couldn’t be separated and the game went to extra-time with the Birmingham girls emerging as victors.

Off the field, the group had the opportunity to take in some of the London sights, visiting Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square before having an afternoon of teambuilding at the Crystal Maze Experience.

Speaking at the competition in London, Ulster GAA President Ciaran McLaughlin said: “The Cúchulainn Initiative continues to demonstrate the power of sport in bringing the youth in our communities together, with the incredibly positive outcome of creating lifetime friendships.

“The real success of this weekend and the Cúchulainn Initiative has been the memories and friendships that the girls have gained throughout their engagement in the programme. This year we were delighted to have the support of Ulster LGFA in delivering this project and I would like to express my thanks to them in for contributing to the successful trip.

“Finally, I also want to praise the schools for their participation and the teachers who gave up the first week of their summer holidays to accompany the pupils, making it possible for these young people to have such an experience.”