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Sunday 21 September 2014

US student sports stars jet in – to paint community centre

Brian Byrne

Published 06/08/2014 | 02:30

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Students from the University of Central Florida started work yesterday refubishing the Lourdes Community Hall on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin as part of the Croke Park Classic Community Project. Photo: Barry Cregg
Students from the University of Central Florida started work yesterday refubishing the Lourdes Community Hall on Sean McDermott Street in Dublin as part of the Croke Park Classic Community Project. Photo: Barry Cregg

American football, baseball and basketball players have come all the way from Florida to refurbish a community hall in Dublin.

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Some 10 student-athletes from the University of Central Florida (UCF), known as the Knights Without Borders, arrived in the capital yesterday and will spend a week painting the Lourdes Community Hall on Sean McDermott Street as part of the Croke Park Classic Community Project.

The university intends to make “a lasting impact in the community” before it sends its football team, UCF Knights, to Croke Park for an American football match on August

30 against Pennsylvania’s Penn State University.

They will be joined by university staff members and are working in conjunction with US charity Habitat for Humanity, Croke Park and the local community to renovate the hall.

A GAA spokesperson said the university is “keen to put something back into the Croke Park community as part of the staging of the game in the area”.

It will be the first time either team has played outside the US.

Thousands of tourists from the US, UK and Europe are expected to flock to the city to watch the colleges face off in the first game of the season. Tickets are available from Ticketmaster.ie, starting at €20.

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