Gaelic Football in Seville
Looking to pick up a new Sport whilst learning about Irish culture, or meet other English speaking people, then Gaelic Football might be the thing for you! This club, Éire Óg Seville, is a great opportunity to get fit whilst having fun. They’re very friendly and are always welcoming newcomers!
History of the Sport
First officially played in 1885, Gaelic football, commonly known as GAA or simply Football, is an Irish team sport. The earliest mention of football that can be found in Irish legal records was in 1308! The sport has even survived many bans imposed by the colonising English, who tried to murder the Irish Culture and spirits.
Following the Irish famine, from 1845 to 1852, which had decimated the population from an original 8.2 million to 4.4 million, the country struggled to recover economically and emotionally. In 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Association was founded to foster and promote those Irish pastimes that were being all but forgotten.
Gaelic Football is played between two teams of 15 players on a pitch. The objective of the sport is to score by kicking or punching the ball into the other team’s goals (3 points) or between two upright posts above the goals and over a crossbar 2.5 metres above the ground (1 point). Players advance the ball up the field with a combination of carrying, bouncing, kicking, hand-passing, and soloing (dropping the ball and then toe-kicking the ball upward into the hands).
Éire Óg Seville
We spoke to Siobhán, a member of Éíre Óg Seville, she gave us more information on their club and how to join!
- Hi, so if you’d like to introduce yourself and tell us where you’re from that’d be great!
- My name is Siobhán O´Donovan and I’m Chairperson of the club. I’m 28 and I’m from East Cork bai.
- How long have you been a part of the club?
- I joined the club last year. I wish I had joined in my first year as it’s really helped me find a fantastic group of solid friends to spend time with both on and off the pitch. I thought it would be only Irish people but I was keen to meet more Spanish people. Little did I know the training was bilingual and there are members from a bunch of different countries and I get to practice plenty of Spanish practice here.
- Do you’ve previous experience in GAA?
- I played from under 12s to Junior C or B (can’t remember!) I played until I was about 16 and left it to try other sports. 11 years later, here I am picking back up the sport I used to love so much! I really wanted to get back into team sports, both for myself and especially now that I have a greater understanding of the importance of getting women into and BACK into sports – especially team sports!
- How can newcomers join/find out more?
- Newcomers or anyone interested (absolute beginners are totally welcome – many of our current squad never heard of Gaelic football before October!). We’ll train you up, we train twice a week and you’ll pick it up in no time! Reach out on Instagram, Facebook or see our (currently being updated) website. We have a very active and fun Whatsapp group where we do most day-to-day communication. Come along and give it ago, no matter if you’ve played county, played up until under 12s or under 16s, or if you still don’t know what the sport is! Very accessible and we are a hugely inclusive and welcoming crowd! We normally get food and drinks after training – the Tercer Tiempo is a key to quick recover after all that running about! Hope to see you all soon!
Photographer, Videographer & Content Writer: Mark Leahy & Veronica Zdybel