First all-African GAA team set for historic week-long tour of Ireland
The South Africa Gaels men's and ladies GAA teams touch down in Ireland today as part of a week-long visit of Ireland to take on teams in Dublin and Mayo.
The club is the first all-African GAA team which was established five years ago, and is made up of players from the townships of Johannesburg.
They will be playing various test matches in Dublin and Mayo over the next week courtesy of ESB International who will be sponsoring the tour.
This year the men’s team is being joined by the first all-African female South Africa Gaels team. Over the next week, the players who range in age from 17 to 30 years will visit Dublin and Mayo to take part in a variety of GAA training bootcamps, test matches and cultural activities.
The teams will then travel from Ireland to represent South Africa in the GAA World Games in Abu Dhabi in two weeks' time.
The South Africa Gaels teams will test their skills against a number of Irish teams including taking part in a unique all-island GAA tournament on Clare Island and a test match against Tourmakeady GAA club in Mayo.
has renewed sponsorship of the South African Gaels Irish tour for 2015. President Higgins attended a GAA blitz in SA pic.twitter.com/o2cuHshUkS— ESB International (@ESB_intl) November 17, 2014
The trip will culminate in a test match for the ladies team against the UCD International ladies GAA team and a tough match for the men’s team against an International All Stars GAA team. Their trip will also include many Irish cultural activities in both Mayo and Dublin, to give the teams an insight into the home of GAA.
"Gaelic sport holds an important place in the community among the young and old here in Ireland and we are looking forward to creating a similar legacy in South Africa,” Ollie Brogan, Managing Director, ESB International said.