The countdown is on to the Renault GAA World Games 2019, and the drive to the Deise has started with yesterday’s launch of the programme of events in the host county of Waterford.
The initial stages of the Renault GAA World Games will be played out at the Sports Campus of Waterford Institute of Technology in Carriganore from July 28 to August 1, with the finals taking place on August 2 at Croke Park.
This is the third-ever staging of what is a major international festival and celebration of Gaelic Games participation all over the globe, and this summer features a record breaking 97 teams totaling 1,300 players coming to the South-East to take part.
There are seperate competitions for Irish-born and also native-born (non Irish born) teams representing more than 10 regions round the world.
More than 60 international teams will be twinned with local clubs from across the Waterford GAA community with the emphasis on a social and cultural exchange, and the competing teams and Waterford GAA clubs will take part in a major parade that marks the start of the World Games in Waterford City on Sunday, July 28.
Waterford City is being primed with flags and banners of welcome for the visit of a festival expected to bring up to 5,000 additional people into the city and county for the week.
“The Renault GAA World Games is a testament to the phenomenal amount of growth which is taking place in World GAA,” said GAA President John Horan.
“All over the world there are new clubs, new record numbers of participation and new people being introduced to Gaelic Games for the first time, and these Games will be a celebration of that.”
“I am delighted that the people of Waterford have got behind this event so publicly and enthusiastically. We know what passionate GAA supporters they are and I’ve no doubt they will extend a cead míle fáilte to the visiting teams who descend on the Deise this summer.”
There are eight world titles on offer for Irish born and then native-born teams in men’s football, ladies football, hurling and camogie. The prize in Waterford is the right to get to make the trip to play at Croke Park.
The Games are a co promotion of the GAA, the Camogie Association and the Ladies Gaelic Football Association and present a potential real world roadmap on how the three bodies can work together to such good effect.
“Renault is very proud to be the title sponsor of the 2019 Renault GAA World Games and delighted that our local dealer in Waterford, H&H Motors, will be involved at a grassroots level which is the foundation of the GAA in Ireland,” said Lynne Boucher, Sales & Network Business Manager, Renault Ireland.
“Renault has a long-standing relationship with the GAA and counts many former GAA heroes as its Brand Ambassadors including Dessie Dolan and Anthony Daly.”
This is a fantastic event demonstrating the global reach of the GAA and we are looking forward to six unforgettable days of sport and celebrating our heritage over the course of the World Games. In addition to the World Games, Renault is the official car partner to the GAA and GPA and this further cements Renault’s ongoing support for GAA heroes on and off the field.”
There are now more than 400 GAA Clubs in existence outside of Ireland and this is reflected in the presence of 97 teams that are confirmed for the Renault GAA World Games and representing clubs from across Europe, New York, USGAA, South Africa, Argentina, Canada, Britain, Australasia, India, Asia and the Middle East.
Image Credit: David Fitzgerald, Sportsfile