Sunday 18 August 2019

Inspiration: All-Ireland glory sparks upsurge in children taking up hurling

Sports festival: (from left) Sean Finn, of Limerick, Marcus Southern (11), ex-Munster player Ronan O’Mahony, Shannon Sweeny (12), hurdler Sarah Lavin, Olivia Flannery (10), Tom Morrissey, of Limerick, and Daragh Horgan (11) at the Community Games launch. Photo: Sportsfile
Sports festival: (from left) Sean Finn, of Limerick, Marcus Southern (11), ex-Munster player Ronan O’Mahony, Shannon Sweeny (12), hurdler Sarah Lavin, Olivia Flannery (10), Tom Morrissey, of Limerick, and Daragh Horgan (11) at the Community Games launch. Photo: Sportsfile

Daragh Small

Limerick's first All-Ireland title since 1973 has led to an upsurge in the number of children taking up the sport, according to two of the stars who helped deliver the Liam MacCarthy Cup.

Tom Morrissey and Seán Finn said they have noticed the increase throughout the county as a new generation takes inspiration from the All-Ireland hurling success.

"It increased the hype and interest in the game for kids who might not have been interested in the GAA or hurling in particular," said Ahane clubman Morrissey.

"Going around to local clubs, especially my own one, the numbers did get that bit of a spike.

"It's brilliant to see the optimism that is there and it's nice to see the kids with a hurley in their hand."

Finn said the county has been buzzing since the All-Ireland final win and he's confident that it will help strengthen their position.

"You even notice more kids start to recognise you as a hurler after winning an All-Ireland," said Finn.

"There are so many kids turning to GAA rather than rugby or soccer now.

"If that continues to happen you would hope for more success down the line."

Morrissey and Finn were speaking at the launch of the Aldi Community Games Festival in UL.

More than 3,600 contestants are expected to take part over the next two weekends.

Irish Independent

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