Action from the Renault GAA World Games at the WIT Arena this week. Photo: Joe Evans.
Waterford put on a show for the 84 touring parties that visited the Déise for the World Games.
“People couldn’t be more positive about how they’ve been treated here in Waterford,” said founder and Tallow native Pat Daly this week.
On Tuesday night ever visiting team were hosted by a Waterford club and the response from teh host clubs and the visiting clubs was universally positive.
Midfielder with the Canada East ladies team Heather felt that Kilrossanty pulled out all the stops. “They had such great hospitality for us. There was music, hurling, football and sandwiches and sweets and the best cup of tea I ever had! The catering was out of this world. They even sent us sandwiches for today!”
The Canadian camogie team travelled out to Tramore and entertained the crowds on Day 3 with a lively warm-up to the tune of Up! from Shania Twain. When they went out on the field, they celebrated their first win against The Warriors. It was one of the highlights of the Games.
The Wednesday morning meeting between Iberia and Russia in the native ladies football competition ended with the Russians presenting the Iberian captain with a jersey, a chocolate medal and a notebook. Goalkeeper Sarah and defender Laura come from England but work in Moscow. They visited Tourin as Laura explained. “They were absolutely fantastic. We went just to play a bit of camogie but they took us to see the Jameson sisters house and we got a tour of the house and gardens.”
Waterford defender Shane Fives also held a hurling session for their guests. “It was brilliant; it felt like it was a proper celebrity! They put on Irish dancing and songs; they were absolutely wonderful. It felt like the whole town had come out to see us!”
The parade through the city caught her by surprise. “I had to pinch myself that there were people on the streets cheering for us! It was a bit ridiculous in a nice way!”
Robin and Daniel of the German team were thrilled with the welcome they got in Tallow.
HURLING THE NEW CURLING
South Africa Gaels were in Ballyduff Lower. Ladies forward Winny Maila enjoyed the night. “We had quite a dance! We made new friends and learned some Irish culture as well, a bit of hurling so it was quite an experience.” She started playing ladies football in 2016.
German hurling goalkeeper Robin spoke about their trip to Tallow. “It was a drive away but it was a great experience to meet the people that play hurling. Back in Germany nobody knows about hurling. Some know curling but that’s annoying because everybody thinks you’re playing curling instead of hurling! They had a warm welcome.”
Giant Italian shot stopper Luca was one of thirteen players to represent the Azzurri in the native football competition, most of whom hail from Rome. “It’s a fantastic experience, this is my second time here. The first time, three years ago in Dublin, I represented the European team. I’m very proud to represent the Italian team for the first time. Unfortunately, it’s very tough for us because the other teams are more experienced and there’s a better Gaelic tradition but we’re doing our best to represent our country.” Clashmore rolled out the red carpet for the boys in blue.
The Galicia ladies from Spain visited Ballymacarbry and joined the locals in an Irish dancing display on the pitch. The men’s team visited Fraher Field where their hosts Ardmore took on Clashmore in a local derby.
Members of Ferrybank GAA Club and Charlotte James Connollys.