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Hurling Across The USA


This is Hurling. Ever since I was six-years-old, I’ve been fascinated with the sport of hurling. I mean, what other sport can you catch the ball in midair when an ungloved hand, chip the ball and score a point from the
sideline And still maintained the energy to score goal despite all the resistance
from your opponent. Meanwhile, being on the move for 70
minutes. Hurling is steeped in 3,000 years of history. It is Ireland’s national sport but
hurling is not only played in Ireland. There are teams all over the world and more than 120 of those clubs are in the US and Canada with new clubs popped up all
over North America. I’m on a mission to highlight the thriving hurling community
on this side of the world. We drove five thousand three hundred and sixty-four miles From Los Angeles to North Carolina and back to interview some of those
clubs. This is hurling across the U.S. Before we start our journey let’s jump
back to where this all began. My name is David Wogan and I grew up in a Northside of Oakland. I’ve been playing Hurling since I was a very young child. I practically grew up with a hurl in my hand. I played Hurling for Whitehall Colmcille throughout my childhood up until I emigrated from Ireland at the age 21. Hurling is not just a hobby to me it’s my life. It has made me a stronger person
both mentally and physically. It has brought me so much joy and purpose and I want to share the same incredible experience with Americans to Canadians. After graduating from Dublin City University in 2011 I moved to Boston to
be with the woman I love. I arrived in Boston with one suitcase and
two hurls determined to continue my hurling journey. I brought hurls with me
everywhere I went And one thing that kept popping up was people asking me: “What is that sport?” I realized I need to create a platform that spoke to the North American Hurling community. And to promote the sport to new audience through my YouTube channel and website. To showcase that hurling is a sport for
everyone. To showcase the efforts of the North American clubs who have been
working tirelessly to spread the word about hurling for decades. To showcase that you don’t have to go to Ireland to watch and play hurling It’s right on your
doorstep. There are teams all over the continent who play regular matches and
would be more than happy to teach you the basics if you were to ask. When my wife suggests that we drive across the USA, I knew would be a perfect
opportunity to meet fellow hurlers who love the sport just as much as I do. The mission of this documentary, just like play hurling’s mission is to grow the hurling and camogie community in North America and to help people connect though their love of the sport. On this road trip I discovered that I’m definitely not alone in my love for
Hurling here. This is my journey. This is another Gaelic revival we’re in the
middle of right now. I found a whole new set of friends and a whole new family through hurling. It’s a chaotic beautiful dance. We’ve actually grown to the point now that we’re looking at possibly having a second team. Hey guys, they heard the calm and we’re gonna be hurting across the USA we stopped it in
about favorite thumbing his first in-and-out experience let’s see it
document this for the masses I’ve been there baby boy very good
you haven’t lived it day until this moment like we’re jelly
good morning we’re in Saguaro Park Arizona and this looks like Marge
Simpson right here got a medium oh there she is I’m in Austin Texas when Adrian from the
Celtic tell voice and we’re gonna talk a bit about Hardin in Texas
Adrian Mannix from a killer County car play Harlan a football hero to Celtic
Cowboys as forward actually work with cattle
he founded the club in 2004 and it’s been going strong ever since we pair
Harlan through their football with two football teams so a few Americans
playing and what path is actually starting right now with the kids clinic
so we’re getting kids involved obviously the Irish community is growing a lot in
the last couple years so their kids are actually starting to play the game now
be if they actually Americans 10 11 years of age they’re playing really go
to Nationals in September there’s numerous different clubs from the Black
Sea Indianapolis I’ve got very strong Seattle are very strong
obviously you have your Boston’s and your Chicago’s but just those nine Irish
holds so to speak are actually growing the game a lot you can see on the Jersey
there to say on the back yeah look at the best crack in Texas so that’s the
something that I came up with there a lot of guys to say I’m work hard to
Celtic Cowboys obviously as well so I think the most unique thing is just that
how the Irish people come together very social aspect you know people coming
over here looking for jobs and you just meet up to the Celtic Cowboys obviously
pair heart their football but you know everyone’s welcome it’s just a real way
from in team we were Commun feel to the whole club in the whole community and if
one just goes with the flow and enjoys us I’m in Atlanta Georgia and I’m with
çanakkale GA club hi my name is Brian Bolland I’m treasurer with Atlanta San
Miguel an active member of the Harling squadron team I moved to Atlanta four
years ago and ever since I’ve had rekindled a low for Harley I need to
Jennifer Beato on the Vice Chair for the board and been playing since we started
our game about five years I’m Joe Leland I’m also with Jody team and I’ve been
playing for five years the club was founded 20 years ago
would you believe 1996 just around the Olympics time here in Atlanta it’s a
great club we’ve got an operative 100 members and growing and it’s really a
community it’s like like like a small town back home a real family and really
community there’s a social social part of it and there’s a serious part of it
and we have clubs in both codes so we’ve mentioned ladies football and men’s
hurling and by far our biggest and most successful team in recent years is our
ladies camogie team we won the national championships two years ago and they’re
by far the most the biggest the most active part we’re very proud of that I
have a daughter who I forced to try it for like the first two or three
practices and then after that she was hooked she’s now in college it used to
be playing for you see me so she’s absolutely wrong with it
and I’m gonna play until I can’t play anywhere basically it’s a unique sport
and the fact that the level of fitness and then the level of technique and
skill union is so high you don’t get that especially a lot of team sports for
that reason Harlen really is is a huge potential
huge potential especially outside of Ireland here in America I mean local
people love it I mean I’d love to see it on ESPN and more sports channels over
here we really get the broad exposure because I think it’s it’s it’s a great
sport I mean the speed and scale it really there’s no real competitive sport
out there so I think the potential if market in the right way is massive
there’s nothing else like it if you like a challenge
I mean if willing to get out there you want to just like go full force it’s the
sport for you I mean a mixture of field hockey and lacrosse and soccer and rugby
all the same and really no other sport like and I think that’s why so many
Americans are attracted that’s been a key recruiting this to grow find women
who are interested in doing exciting new challenging in sports so girls I played
rugby or Aussie Rules or lacrosse field hockey hockey ice hockey was to having
really great recruiting grounds or a band we arrived from North Carolina hey guys I’m in UNC Chapel Hill and I’m
with Raleigh GA and UNC Haruko and we’re gonna talk about North Carolina hey good
afternoon ladies and gentlemen Seana drastic here from Raleigh GA a
midfielder for for Raleigh out here serving the United States Marine Corps
at Camp Lejeune my name is Karen Harris and we’re here the old well UNC
representing the UNC Gaelic Athletic Association two thousand twelve or
thirteen I got the UNC Club started since then either playing with them or
managing them I’ve been involved heavily we’re doing fantastic largely is the
cooperation of the community the neighborhood here so I’m also involved
in Raleigh I play with them as well so I think the great thing about you know
specifically playing here we’ve got you know people for all sorts of different
backgrounds whether they be Irish whether they not various cultures pries
Anisa T’s it doesn’t it doesn’t matter and that’s what I’ve loved is that
there’s so much diversity you know being a marine myself it’s it’s a martial
sport it’s the culture it’s the camaraderie you are ready for battle you
are ready for war and that’s what I just that’s what I just love nothing beats
being in that match and the ashes flying and the slippers whizzing through the
air and the contacts being made it’s unreal surfing if anybody has had a
chance to be part of water culture I love surf and I love being in the water
and once you’ve found out what it’s like to be caught by the way even to be in
that spot here you are on a surfboard moving through the water that’s the
closest thing think of like once you finally have the basic skills to control
the ball to be fluid to be moving and there’s people moving against you it’s
like you’re standing up on the surfboard it is just the heavens are shining down
on you it’s so fun there is something that you can find and identify in Erling
that you can appreciate and love it’s been a privilege to play clubs from
Virginia from South Carolina from Montana you know all parts of Oregon
obviously Washington State where I’m a native of Round North Carolina here
where we’re at it is taking off their clothes taking off everywhere where you
wouldn’t you Wow really this place of all places but
you know you’d be surprised so my prediction for the next you know 10 15
years it’s gonna continue to grow and it’s independent of its being an Irish
thing or you’re from Ireland a it’s just a great sport anybody cares about sport
looks at this and wants to play it bottom line and really I think it’s
great you know what you’re able to do you know David is you’re documenting a
lot of these clubs that are taking off and that’s actually something that
Ciaran and I have talked I’ve talked to great length with other people about it
I mean somebody needs to be documenting this is another Gaelic revival we’re in
the middle of right now and that’s that’s why I think that this is getting
documented because this is this is Irish American history
at its core it’s another part of the Irish American story I like to give a
quick shout out to my my friends from the Tacoma Rangers back at home and all
my friends from the north of Ireland up in Derry in Belfast ah so close to a home run good morning
we’re about to leave North Carolina and a next stop is Knoxville we’re gonna be
driving through Tennessee today stuffing at Knoxville Nashville and hopefully
Memphis it’s been so nice spending Christmas in North Carolina with
Miranda’s family as you can see it’s kind of Irish wetter today rain more
rain hey guys I’m in Knoxville Tennessee and
I’m whit Knoxville gac my name is Benjamin Conaway name’s Patrick shower
Seth Ingebrigtsen about two years ago the Army Reserve here in Knoxville they
needed some sort of alternative physical training the coach had been over to
croak Park and said you know this is a Warriors game I think we can do this
during their drill they would spend two hours doing curling right now about half
of our team is made up of that Army Reserve unit and the rest is just folks
who have heard about it so I’m from Milwaukee Wisconsin and they had a co-ed
like pump league up there at the time when I started 2003 there’s eight co-ed
teams you know playing ten games every summer plus playoffs and stuff so in
college I’ve met a couple lads from Ireland and I got to go visit them last
year last summer and he took me to croak Park and I watched a match it kind of
fell in love with it immediately yes so for me I also visited Ireland as a kid
and so I got the smallest Hurley that I could so it fit in my luggage going home
and then I kind of just sat in my closet for about 10 years and then one day I’m
on college campus and this friend of mine says oh hey this guy was talking
about Irish music and Irish sports and you have red hair see it probably I
should go talk to him it’s literally how it happened it’s all
a history from there I got to play with Elena GAA that was a really good
experience and then when I came up here I just googled it and found them when
I’m trying to explain the sport I say you know it’s free-flowing like
basketball maybe even more so but you just run around hit homeruns it’s not
like a batter sitting there in baseball like okay they’re gonna pitch I’m gonna
try to swing like it’s a chaotic beautiful dance when I’m running down
the you know bouncing the slitter out there
and I see this defender rushing at me I’m feeling the same kind of thrill
trying to figure out what I’m trying to do that someone in Ireland is
experiencing right now that someone 2,000 years ago and appealed somewhat
was experiencing and so there are lots of ways to connect to a culture the food
the music the dance travel but it’s really wrong and it’s a really unique
way to engage in a culture and it’s a unique sport but I think America has
room for unique sports but I feel there’s a market for hurling that is not
nearly saturated and I think we’re just now starting to see the exponential
growth it’s gonna keep on going for the next couple decades an element I really
enjoy is you know when we go to competitions we actually get to play
like for Knoxville I mean I love the city you know I’ve lived here for six
seven years I was born pretty close to here and of course hurling has such a
strong tie to geography to where you’re from with the County teams in Ireland
and to kind of take that same sentiment and be proud of where you’re from and
draw people in the community but then to be able to represent that when you go to
other cities is something a lot kind of cherish and I think as the club grows
and the awareness grows that is even going to increase you know so as someone
who’s out of school just an adult a working adult who is looking for some
kind of athletics to stay in shape something a little more in depth than
just a two month long rec league it’s really perfect it’s an it’s open it’s
not cliquish you know we have several foot soccer clubs and we have several
basketball clubs here in Knoxville but folks been doing that for years and I
feel like there’s a lot of one-upsmanship involved so I just don’t
feel as it’s as receptive to newcomers but when you put up early in someone’s
hand everyone is at square one and so that fosters really open environment
where it’s about learning it’s about having fun I just see what’s happened
even since I started there’s clubs popping up all over so I think I just
continue to some while once the awareness grows the
interest will just follow and that’s what we’ve seen in the short time of our
club like I said I think it’s the best game in the world and that just got
exposed to it the last year you know I’ve played a
number of American sports but because of just the inherent qualities of the game
but also just the rhythm of American life I think there’s the space for it
and I think once the awareness grows the interest will just follow and that’s
what we’ve seen in the short time of our club and I think that can probably is a
microcosm maybe of what can happen in a bigger way just all across America I see
if being as big as ultimate or lacrosse but certainly in the next decade or two
I think the growth we’ve seen since 2000 or so will absolutely continue my name
is Dermot Murray I am the current club president of the Memphis GAA club hi I’m
Eric Vick I am the director of the Memphis GA A’s development and
recruitment hi my name is Joshua Foster I’m the technical officer of the Memphis
GAA the club itself got started in January of 2015
Jesse Gammons a graduate research assistant at the University of Tennessee
Health Sciences Center started the club he’s renting from Nashville was very
active in the club in Nashville and decided to start a club here in Memphis
someone who hasn’t played hurling flourish is definitely joined because
it’s an interesting way to open the door to a new culture that they haven’t
experienced what I think is most interesting about Memphis GAA is how
we’re able to really form this in a city that really hasn’t heard of her like
before I think the greatest thing about Erling and Memphis is the number of
people willing to give it a go I’m gonna see a lot of growth in hurling across
the United States especially in cities like Memphis where the people have never
even heard of the sport before I think a lot of that has been driven by freshly
did the growth of Millennials who are really open to new experiences and
trying out new things a lot more than Austrian Xers are I’m afraid so I think
it’s a very exciting time for this board in the United States good morning wearing Clinton to Oklahoma
and we drove through tonight’s I’m refueling with some more coffee we just arrived in Albuquerque New
Mexico we’ve been on the road for about 28 hours and covered 1,700 miles so
we’re absolutely exhausted so it’s checked into this motel hey guys I’m with John from the top of a
heart of club and we’re gonna talk about Hardin of Florida I’m John de novia I’m
the club secretary for the Tampa Bay Hernan Club from Tampa Bay Florida who
our club in Tampa we’re primarily guys but we do have a few girls that
definitely show us how to play the game we’ve got some kimochi stars from over
in Ireland that have come over and have done such a great job of encouraging us
in giving us the skills that they know and it’s it’s made kimochi fans of all
the guys we’re really supportive and we’re always looking for more girls to
join and I would encourage anyone who who wants to get out and play is that
anybody can do it we go regardless of your age your ability level and men
women children everyone and even families we’ve got we’ve got father’s to
play with their sons and moms play with their daughters and I think it’s just a
great great way to spend a Sunday what really has attracted me to it is the
tide to the culture of Ireland and I’m not Irish I but I’ve I kind of now
identify as Irish I’ve got so many friends from all over Ireland and all
over the United States that I’ve met through the game of hurling and that we
can share that common that common link that common bond so I think that’s
really one of the cool things about furling is that not only are you you
picking up a new sport and something you love to do but you’re also you get to
learn about a culture and you’re helping preserve a 3,000 year old
sport which is a pretty cool responsibility for all of us to have I
think the future hurling in America and I think it’s it’s got a huge huge
potential I think just the key is to get a Hurley into someone’s hand and once
they get that chance to try it they pick up a few of the basic skills they’re
gonna be hooked and then the social aspect and the feeling part of a team
and being a part of the Irish culture in the crack is gonna make you want to come
back again and again and again and I found that everybody I’ve dealt with in
America that has played hurling is just everyone’s got a great story to tell
everyone’s got you know something to share with one another and it’s it’s
just been an incredible experience and it’s just just a short year that I’ve
been playing and so I think in ten years from now I think curling will to
continue to grow I think that more and more kids are gonna get access to it I
think that’s going to be a big part of the growth of the sport I think colleges
will continue to play it on campus I think that’s going to give a lot of
exposure and then through social media and through things like play hurling
calm the ability to get it out in front of people and for people to see it and
and then to get out try it and that’s key and that’s what we’re going to
really devote our season to this year is we grow our team in Tampa is we’re gonna
try and put Hurley’s in as many people’s hands as we can regardless of whether
they have any background and from Ireland or not we just want people to
try it and kind of play the percentage game if we can get a thousand people to
pick up a hurl and puck around we might get a few of them to stick around and
play with us I found a whole new set of friends and a
whole new family through through hurling I tried I send off this video with my
story so we’re in Santa Monica we started a meetup group the people are
here today and have been for the past two weeks are made up of together
football team for Los Angeles and people that actually found to play hard in
YouTube channel which I was delighted about my name is Spencer Bing I play
Gaelic football with the Culver City Cougars I’ve always wanted to try it so
we tried decided to try to get some people together and David and play
hurling have organized this great a great space my name is Flynn Lemonnier
and I play forward when I first started playing I’m pretty sure I like every
erling page on Facebook ended up finding out that there was a club in San Diego
which is about an hour and a half two hours south so I’ve been driving down
every weekend playing with them and then discovered there is a team or a group
coming up in Santa Monica so started kind of hitting with them so now I’m
here with two groups that fig California hi my name is Bill Jennings and I
usually play a full-forward I think the hurling community as a whole
at least everybody I’ve ever met that’s ever played the sport or enjoys the
sport has been fantastic and they’ve been a great group of you know men and
women so I’m very excited to find some folks out here in Los Angeles to play
with I came to this country playing holding I started playing when I was six
or seven at home I came to America playing hauling just
standard to me was unbelief but when I came here and without calling being in
America I would not have stayed and we came because I came to California in
1978 and we formed the wild geese football and hurling Club and I’ve been
here it’s the greatest game in the world the fastest game in the world the most
intense came in the world everyone should play Holi that’s beautiful hell
yeah that’s so I first discovered hurling when I was nine I took a trip to
Dublin with my family and my godmother who lives in Ireland her brother was
coaching what would be people like a high school team and I was nine that was
fascinating I took it back to the US then I discovered it again in college I
saw flyers for hurling Club is pretty University
kind of went from there my first exposure to hurling was actually back in
2001 when I was visiting Ireland I’d heard of the game before but I’ve never
seen it played so I didn’t know much about it so if you want a fast-forward
10 years later I’d actually ended up in Indianapolis for work and I happen to
catch a sign and a actually good or threat a whole food store in
Indianapolis and they had a little hurling section and so they had a
business card there that said if you’re interested in playing come on out to
Broad Ripple Park on Wednesdays and check it out so I did and I’ve been
playing ever since so that’s been about five years now I had an internship in
Korea and I was looking for a soccer team to play with but I what I found was
the sole gail’s and it’s a Gaelic football club at one of the tournaments
I saw some guys hitting around with the hurls that’s the first time I ever saw
it these sessions on the beach two weeks ago was the first time I’ve actually
ever played hurling people should definitely play hurling because it takes
something from every sport no matter what you play you can you can translate
some aspect of the game over and it’s just a great culture and then
you meet a lot of really great people and some great friends all of us have
the similar story that we wanted to play Hardin with someone we’ve had tons of
people just walk up on the side of the beach and asked like we know what are
you playing and we’ve actually introduced a couple players and actually
had one come out to our training this week who happened to what come across is
last week so you know there’s always new people coming in new faces we’re in
Santa Monica the beach is just right there just palm trees this Americans
playing and this Irish people playing her and it’s just like I feel like I’m
living my life to my full potential I think that it’s definitely gonna grow as
more people understand what it is and discover it I think it’s going to become
a great spectator sport in the future so I think curling has a great future in
America I would like to see it become as popular here in America as as it is back
in Ireland I definitely think hurling is going to
be growing in the next ten years at least at the college level it goes so
well with the college atmosphere I mean kind of the camaraderie and you
know people liking to have fun but I think it’s really gonna pick up and
people are gonna start hearing of it more and maybe in the u.s. when I say
play hurling I won’t have so many blank stares
so we’re 12 weeks later from doing our initial recording and I wanted to
actually give an update on the LA team and Josi so we combined a team from some
of the Gaelic footballers from the walki COC and then airplay curtain crowds in
LA and we are true to semifinals we’re on Sunday mornin and we’ve done
excellent we have a very strong team it’s our first time playing together as
a team yes we train together but it just it’s a first tournament and to capture
to the semi-finals we’re only a couple weeks old and even if that were kind of
spilled into the pre Club stage were playing for the wild geese put st.
patricks la used to be a cloth and it disbanded a couple years ago but their
green jersey and that’s what we’ve been wearing for this for this tournament and
it’s nice to see that Hardin is regrown in the LA area it’s like if you look
back in the history of this like in and out so many times that people were
because I think like the first exposure to it was 1917 there was a kimochi team
and then I heard the the 80s and 90s were very strong that were able to
regrow it and to recruit more people because they’re deaf Nia’s demand for it
we’ve been dominating every single game and it’s very strong growth very strong
potential that the future is gonna have for her and do see in LA

Stephen Childs

36 Comments

  1. Great video again . Your a hero David, would love to see The Gaa take notice of what youre trying to do for the sport. Thanks for your hard work

  2. My brother played with Adrian mannix he got a call up to play County but he moved to texas

  3. Fair play to ya lad, please continue to be an ambassador and spread our beautiful game across North America.

  4. There is a great hurling/football community in Jersey, Channel islands. Any GAA clubs in New Jersey i wonder? Great video…new subscriber

  5. That’s cool that u played hurling when u where younger I play for Thomas Davis

  6. Best hurling team is Rauri Og's / Cushendall it's where I live but can u teach how to swing on a ball correctly because I have been playing for 5 years and can't hit the ball. My coaches said I don't swing my wrists help!

  7. Keep in touch with Micky Quigg at www.nyyouthgaa.com

    You will not meet a better person for a want, or way, for spreading the gospel of hurling

    You will not meet a better person in all your walks of life. The most approachable, genuine, friendly, sociable person I have ever met.

    Any questions you have; he has been there and done it in the wind, rain and muck in Ireland. He is a certified GAA referee and now hurling development officer in New York.

    He is the person to talk to about hurling in America.

  8. Hi I'm from cork and 11 and start for my full back for my club as u may know every county has their own style of Hurley does north America have their own style

  9. There is a cyc ( continental youth championship) every year where under aged teams play each other in a huge tournament in a different location every year. This year there r 219 teams going the biggest there has ever been . The Irish culture is growing especially around NY Yonkers!!!!

  10. It's an Irish sport so Americans and Canadians shouldn't be playing it

  11. Great video! We’d love to see you come to Central Florida where we have a Orlando and Tampa GAA chapters.

  12. Totally missed all the Midwest/Northwestern/Northeastern clubs. The biggest of which in America is in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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