The Korean Gaelic League will hold its final round on what promises to be a baking hot Saturday in Ansan.
The league has five teams playing in both men’s and women’s competitions ― two each from Seoul Gaels and Laochra Busan and one from Daegu na Fianna, with all teams playing each other once in each round and the overall winner chosen in a conventional league format.
Seoul Gaels A leads the men’s competition, while Laochra Busan A leads the women’s league.
|A Laochra Busan player tries to block a kick by a Seoul Gaels player. (Seoul Gaels)|
Gaelic football has been in Korea for more than 10 years, but in the past most competition has been in the Asian Gaelic Games or in national cup tournaments.
“The league itself only started last year, where we had three rounds, and it worked out quite well. So this year we are making a bit more of an event of it,” said Seoul Gaels chair Thomas Gaughan.
Itaewon pub Bull and Barrel will run a barbecue at the tournament and Pumpkin Face will supply vegan options. In addition, there will be a raffle in aid of Animal Rescue Korea, which helps abandoned animals find new homes.
There will also be sporting interludes, with a hurling competition to see who can hit the “sliotar” furthest and an exhibition game between members of Seoul Gaels’ children’s team.
“They are all Korean children and they basically just returned from Ireland, where they met the prime minister of Ireland and got to play a halftime game at the highest level of Gaelic football,” said Gaughan.
Gaughan explained that the team had been formed from a summer camp that combined English lessons with Gaelic football.
He hoped that the inclusion of a wider range of activities would attract a broader crowd.
“For me personally, I want Seoul to win, but from a chairman’s perspective I want to create more awareness for Gaelic football in Korea,” said Gaughan.
“We’re guaranteed the weather, so I just want everyone to come along and have a good time, and create more of an interest and an atmosphere. It’s another option for a day out for families or just anyone who’s interested in playing a new sport.”
The finals will start at 11 a.m. at the Korea Small Business Institute pitches near Choji Station on Line 4 in Ansan. To get there, leave Exit 1 of the station, walk about 500 meters and turn left at the intersection. The institute is on the right.
By Paul Kerry (email@example.com)