Taking the Fields of Glory: Youth Programs & Free Fridays Have Begun - News and Events - iIrish

Taking the Fields of Glory: Youth Programs & Free Fridays Have Begun

Taking the Field of Glory: Midwest Gaelic Athletic Association Monthly
By Vincent Beach

Midwest News
The Midwest Board and clubs teeter on the edge of releasing the summer schedule and Midwest Finals location. Although tentative until final registration is complete on April 30th, anticipated clubs include: Men’s Football – Cincinnati, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo Fenians, Buffalo NaFianna, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany; Ladies’ Football: Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Buffalo; Hurling: Cleveland, Akron, Pittsburgh, Buffalo, Rochester; Camogie: Cleveland, Pittsburgh.

At the moment, it does not appear there will be a Midwest Invitational as we saw in Detroit last year.  The Midwest Finals will take place August 6-7, while the USGAA Finals will occur August 19-21 in Chicago. 

Around the Division, several clubs took advantage of a break in the winter weather to kick and puck around outdoors; and a few others continue to recruit through indoor sessions.

Congratulations to the Buffalo Fenians on their Banquet, the Akron Celtic Guards for their volunteer efforts during the green season, and all the clubs who marched in pre-St. Patrick’s Day Parades in Akron, Pittsburgh, and Rochester. 

Buffalo Fenians Annual Banquet
Akron Celtic Guards Green Season Volunteers

Referees
As the Midwest continues to grow, the need for new referees also grows. There are plenty of opportunities to stay involved in GAA after your playing days are done; great way is to referee.  The Midwest provides Referee Clinics each year and most years referee upskilling is required due to minor rule changes from Congress.  If you are interested, contact Cleveland GAA and they can link you up with the Midwest referee coordinator. 

Cleveland St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s
The hardy bucks and belles of the Cleveland GAA once again took part in the annual St. Malachi Church Run on Saturday, March 12. Braving 19 degree temperatures and a stiff lake breeze, twelve members of club trotted the streets of Cleveland. Footballer and Camóg, Angie Dietz, took 2nd place in her age group. An-deas

In classic Cleveland weather, St. Patrick’s Day saw sunny skies and mid-60s temperatures just days after the brutal Church Run. The Club and the rest of Cleveland are excited to march again  and celebrate Irish American culture after two years away.

Special congratulations and thanks to Cleveland GAA’s Maureen Mohney (2020 Inside Co-Chair), for helping to organize the parade each year, along with the many other members of the United Irish Societies.    

Cleveland Youth
St. Pat’s – St. Jarlath’s will host a series of FREE FRIDAYS for all players, boys and girls, ages 5 to 17, for Gaelic Football at the Soccer Sportsplex in North Olmsted from 6 to 8pm on 3/25, 4/1, and 4/8.  Following Easter, there will be another series of games-based activities. 


The Program is gearing up to amass youth teams for the largest GAA event outside of Ireland – the Continental Youth Championships.  The CYC’s will take place in Chicago this year over four days, July 28-31. The tournament is great fun for the children and minors, while very exciting for the parents.  For more information on the youth program, contact ClevelandYouthGAA@gmail.com.

April-May
As the weather breaks in April, both codes (football, hurling/camogie) will begin to hit the outdoor field, but there will likely be some group conditioning sessions ahead of time.  Please see the Club’s website or social media. 

May will seriously kick-off the GAA season in Cleveland, with the club’s Night at the Races co-hosted by the WSIA on the 14th.  The following weekend, May 21, the Cleveland Memorial 7’s will also take place at the WSIA, with teams coming from around the Midwest, Heartland, and Central Divisions to compete in men’s and ladies’ Gaelic football.  

Go raibh míle maith agaibh (thanks y’all) to our readers and supporters. We need your help and involvement, but would most like to share the fun of Irish sport and Cleveland community with you.  Consider getting involved at any level. 

Fáilte (welcome) to all.  The Gaelic Athletic Association is Ireland’s largest sporting organization and a bit of home for the Irish abroad here in the US of A.  Beyond sports, the Association also promotes Irish music, song and dance, and the Irish language as an integral part of its objectives. Cleveland GAA is open to all who want to play competitive sports, meet new people, and join an athletic, fitness-minded club for all ages. 

Follow @ClevelandGaelic on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the 2022 activities for Men, Women, and Youth.  Or visit ClevelandGAA.com.

See More to the Story, and more pics, at www.iirish.us.

*Vincent Thomas Francis Xavier Beach is a proud Greater Clevelander and emigrant of Michigan.  He joined the St. Pat’s Gaelic Football Club in 1999 and, with much help, is the current caretaker of the Cleveland GAA.  His Irish is a cross of dialects from the University of Cincinnati and An Cheathrú Rua.  With his wife, Michelle, he enjoys watching time absolutely fly by as their children, Ambrose (12), Bernadette (11), and Cedric (7), grow.  His other hustles are coaching CYO basketball at St. Mary of Berea, coaching soccer in Olmsted TWP, teaching Construction Management at CWRU, and laying down some engineering skills on local water/wastewater projects.

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