Young boys from Antrim created memories together at the All Britain Competition when they travelled to London to represent their schools and towns, as part of their involvement in Ulster GAA’s Cuchulainn Initiative. The Initiative aims to afford young people from different community backgrounds the opportunity to engage with one another, and to educate people not traditionally invovled with the GAA about the association
The Antrim Cúchulainns consisted of boys from Crumlin Integrated College and Parkhall Integrated College and following three well competed group games that did not go their way on the scoreboard they got the victory their effort deserved in a great game against Round Towers.
Gaelic Games are being promoted to break down barriers and build community relations in the education sector. Ulster GAA is committed to the development of a shared future, based on tolerance and respect for the differing cultural traditions that share our community.
Speaking at the competition in London, Ulster GAA President Oliver Galligan said:
“The Cúchulainn Initiative continues to be Ulster GAA’s flagship Cross Community Project which uses Gaelic Games to break down barriers and build community relations in the education sector. Ulster GAA is committed to the development of a shared future based on tolerance and respect for the differing cultural traditions that share our community.
The new Principal of Crumlin Integrated College, Mr Niall O’ Hara commented, “This initiative creates a sense of shared culture and removes the myth that sports belong to a particular community. Sport unites people and creates teams, regardless of background. This typifies the ethos of our Integrated ethos and highlights the centrality of our school’s promotion and facilitation of true integration in the Crumlin and surrounding areas. Now that our pupil numbers are growing, we look forward to the development of Gaelic games throughout the school.”
Away from the playing field, the group were invited to Clarence House before being hosted at the Embassy of Ireland by Adrian O’Neill, Ireland’s Ambassador to the UK, who praised the schools and players for their engagement in the Cúchulainn Initiative.
Praise must go to the school-teachers who accompanied their pupils alongside Ulster GAA staff, making it possible for these young people to have such an experience.
This initiative has been funded by The Executive Office through their Good Relations Funding Programme.
The College Principal, Mr O’ Hara, also shared his excitement about the development of Gaelic games in the school. “We are continuing to develop our extra-curricular programme to extend and enhance the pupils’ educational experience for students and create learning opportunities beyond the formal classroom setting. The College is working in partnership with Ulster GAA, who I am very pleased to confirm, have provided coaches from local GAA clubs to develop Gaelic games in the College. The future of our sporting curriculum looks bright and I would encourage people to watch this space!”