Social GAA back at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for a new season

Non-competitive games for those seeking GAA activity return to Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G pitch
Social GAA back at Páirc Uí Chaoimh for a new season

Páirc Uí Chaoimh's 4G pitch (right) will host Social GAA, which returns tonight. Picture: Dan Linehan

Social GAA returns at the Páirc Uí Chaoimh 4G pitch tonight, with hurling and football taking place for the next eight weeks.

Open to “anyone interested in pucking/kicking ball and staying healthy” as the @SocialGAACork Twitter page puts it, sessions take place from 8-9pm – with the option to play hurling or football – and cost €5.

First run in 2018, the initiative has proven to be a huge success, with a Cork Masters football team coming into being last year as a result. Cork County Board games development administrator (GDA) Colm Crowley was one of those who was a driving force in bringing it into being.

“People had been talking about some sort of a recreational game,” he said when it began.

“I do enjoy still playing but I don’t enjoy the cut-and-thrust of highly competitive matches.

“I just threw it out on the GDA Twitter page to see if there was an interest in doing it. Within five days, 200 people had expressed an interest, which was overwhelming.

We’re hoping, from the social aspect of it, that they’ll get a mental benefit and the playing aspect brings a benefit on the physical side.”

While the Covid-hit past two years have impacted upon the running of the operation, the hope is that it can make a successful return. 

The format involves small-sided games with lots of ball contacts, no subs and no tackling, making it safe for those partaking. Those involved include players who never played competitively and those who have recently retired, with players ranging in age from late 30s to late 50s.

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