Dresden Tournament - SAT 30/09/2017
✽✽✽✽ All photos available in slideshow below and our new 'Gallery' section ✽✽✽✽
Our first official GAA tournament - box ticked! After weeks of preparation by the club committee and tournament organizers, a fleet of Berlin registered vehicles bearing our members descended the early morning Autobahn to Dresden. The 'Cultec Hurling & Camogie European Championship Finals 2017' was in full swing and our club's debut began on the GAA European stage.
We registered mens, ladies, youth and kids teams for the day's events; fielding players from all nationalities reflecting the cultural melting pot that is our home of Berlin. Expectations were tempered as the games began, with our adult players realizing their individual limitations but finding new strength and opportunities for success in the bonds of camaraderie forged in competition beside their fellow Setanta players.
For our men's teams, many games were lost but came tantalizingly close, with our single win against a very pleasant and sporting Darmstadt GAA team being well deserved. Being the only all-German team in the tournament, their passion for Hurling and growing skills are to be respected.
The ladies team was bolstered by the sharing of players from other teams and also found the competition significant. Having benefited from other teams' contribution, some of our ladies added to those teams going forward in the later stages of the tournament who had shed players due to injury. Good karma move from our ladies!
Arguably the big feature of the day was the Setanta Youth & Kids teams facing off against Munich Colmcilles GAA. This was a historic first for GAA in continental Europe; setting the precedent for more such involvement of all our young Gaels in the formal European GAA calendar. Coaches and parents beamed from ear to ear watching our young Setantas wrestle with the challenge of playing people they didn't know and many young minds found the confidence they needed to charge into action.
Regardless of the outcome, the day was packed with valuable experience for everyone, and we were pleased to be involved. Many thanks to our club committee, coaches and all those members who supported our trip organization in their respective roles. Well done to all our mens, ladies, youth and kids teams (and their dutiful parents!!!) for their enthusiastic participation. Thanks to Diarmuid Kelly and everyone at Dresden GAA for welcoming us and hosting the event - we were well looked after throughout our stay. Special mention of German GAA / Deutscher Bund Gälischer Sportarten's generous sponsorship and promotion of our Youth & Kids attendance which was greatly appreciated, as were the much treasured medals by our young players. Last but not least we thank the great Munich Colmcilles GAA Kids & Youth players for providing the competition and their coaches for their encouragement on future collaborative events.
Photo Credits (alphabetically): W. Laverty, D. Murray, R. Mücher, D. Smyth, & J. Waldron