FOUR COACHES from London Irish RFC have had a GAA youth team affiliated to the London County Board and celebrated their establishment with a special coaching session at Hazelwood on Saturday.
Gael Londaín has been in the works for around seven weeks but only became an official part of the local GAA community at the most recent County Board meeting earlier this month.
It is hoped the club will help youngsters develop new ball handling skills, meet new friends and participate in a series of summer camps during school holidays.
A public coaching session attracted over 120 kids between the age groups of Under-6 to Under-14 at the home of London Irish RFC, which was followed by an exhibition game between 2015 senior football finalists Tir Chonaill Gaels and St Kiernans.
“It was a really great day and we’ve already had a lot of positive feedback – the clubhouse was rammed,” Paul Charles, an Under-13 rugby coach at London Irish who was influential in getting the project off the ground, told The Irish Post.
“Four of us got our heads together and we thought, rather than trying to get the kids to join other London GAA clubs, why don’t we just start one up ourselves?
“Some youngsters have played the game before and some are brand new to the game, which is really encouraging.”
Although Gael Londaín is a separate entity from London Irish RFC, Dubliner Charles confirmed the club will look to take advantage of the outstanding sporting facilities on offer at Hazelwood.
“We wanted to keep the link with Hazelwood,” he said. “It’s a completely separate club, but the facilities there are super, so we’ll be playing our games from there.”