AIB’s Toughest Summer Helmed by Whittaker

AIB have teamed up with award-winning documentary filmmaker, Ross Whitaker, to tell the story of GAA’s Toughest Summer.

The series consists of five webisodes as well as a full-length feature documentary to air on RTE 1 at the end of August.

TJ Reid features in the first webisode that will be available on AIB’s YouTube channel from 1 pm on Thursday 23rd July at and which we will share here.

Tomorrow morning we will be joined by Reid to talk through the impact that this Toughest summer has had on him and what he has done to counter the shock of having to shut down his Gym at a point of real development and what replaced hurling in terms of what he did with his time and energy.

Communities

“The Toughest Summer” will chart the return to GAA of players, coaches, volunteers and clubs and the joy that being able to restart Gaelic Games has brought to communities nationwide.

The story will document GAA and Camogie communities as they look towards the first year without an All-Ireland Series to follow at Club level and the first ever winter All Ireland Inter-County Championships.

It will highlight the strength of GAA grassroots and the power of the GAA community as they show their support across the country in navigating a summer like no other.

Ross Whittaker has become synonymous with sports documentaries since his debut Saviours about a Dublin Boxing Club, Katie, the award-winning film about Katie Taylor and Boys in Green which aired on RTÉ this summer.

TJ Reid tells us tomorrow what he was like to work with on set.

Collaborating

“I am really excited about collaborating with AIB to tell the story of “The Toughest Summer”,” said Whittaker.

I have been a fan of AIB GAA’s #TheToughest campaign from the outset and its celebration of GAA as a sport. The role played by so many in the GAA during the pandemic showcases why Gaelic Games is such a special sport, unique in so many ways in world sport.”

“In what other sport for example, did elite athletes play such a key role in a country’s response to the virus. It is for this reason that I am honoured to be able to tell the story of how the GAA community make it through this strange summer and in doing so help the country survive this crisis.”

“The Toughest Summer will be a celebration of GAA, its contribution to Ireland and I hope will leave us all inspired and hopeful about our future.”

Local

“GAA plays a unique role at the heart of local communities,” added Michael Dargan, Head of Consumer Marketing with AIB.

“This was apparent by the contribution of so many in the GAA to support their communities across the island of Ireland, especially more so over the past four months.”

“We at AIB are hugely proud of our long-standing support of both the GAA and the Camogie Association and were delighted to be able to commission one of Ireland’s leading filmmakers, Ross Whitaker, to tell the story of The Toughest Summer – the summer without sport as we know it – and the return of the games we love.”

“The Toughest Summer will be a celebration of Gaelic Games and its unique role in making both our local communities and us as a people stronger.”

The Toughest Summer will air weekly, every Thursday at 1 pm, on YouTube at www.youtube.com/aib for five weeks from July 23rd through August 20th with Episode One following legendary Ballyhale Shamrocks and Kilkenny hurler TJ Reid as he shares his own experience of these past testing months.

The final feature-length documentary will air on RTE 1 in late August.

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