Gaelic Sports Clubs in London: A Home Away From Home
Gaelic sports, mainly football and hurling, are the most popular sports in Ireland as well as the Rugby Union, which is played and supported throughout Ireland. Whether you want to follow Irish sport while living in London, or join a club, there is something for everyone.
The London Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA) is responsible for the organisation of Gaelic games in London.
History Of Gaelic Football
Gaelic football is played by teams of 15 on a rectangular grass pitch with H-shaped goals at each end. The primary object is to score by kicking or striking the ball with the hand and getting it through the goals. The team with the highest score at the end of the match wins. Players advance the ball up the field with a combination of carrying, soloing (dropping and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands), kicking, and hand-passing to their team-mates.
Since 1898, London Irish has “provide[d] a home from home for wandering Irish men and women regardless of creed or politics and a welcoming and hospitable venue to entertain rugby players and supporters from all over the world.” London Irish became a professional rugby club in 1996.
Gaelic Football Teams & Hurling Clubs in London
Hurling, the national game of Ireland resembles hockey or lacrosse despite being played with a shorter stick, called a “hurley” which has an oval blade.There are a number of Gaelic football teams as well as Hurling clubs based in London; depending on your location and ability, you are sure to find a club that suits you.
The Shamrocks are a Senior Gaelic Football Team. This is an ambitious team who readily welcome new players of all abilities. The club organises regular social events as well as training twice a week on a Tuesday and Thursday nights at 19:45.
For an extensive list of football clubs in London divided by region, check out the directory put together by The Irish Post.
Gaelic sports is a huge part of Irish culture, these clubs encourage members to feel part of a community, regardless of their nationality. Many of these societies also help Irish expatriates to settling into their new life in London.