Another month down in the GAA year of 2023 saw more and more clubs starting to awaken from their Winter slumber and stretch the muscles for the upcoming season.
In the Western Division both the Calgary Chieftains and Edmonton Wolfe Tones continued their indoor training with eyes firmly set on the 2nd instalment of the Battle of Alberta on Saturday March 25th. Big numbers were seen on the day with Calgary bringing two Men’s teams to Red Deer for the games, Calgary A Vs Edmonton was a tough battle which saw Calgary take the win. Next up it was the turn of the Alberta Ladies, a 7s game which saw many Canadian and new players take to the field with Calgary eventually taking the win on the day. The last game of the day saw Calgary B take on Edmonton, a tough game with some serious points being kicked, Edmonton took the win in this game. Well done to the Tones on getting the win despite having a hard battle in their first game. Both clubs are working tirelessly to develop GAA amongst Canadians in Alberta with the results evident on March 25th. March also saw Edmonton run their first Og training session in which 13 kids turned up to learn the basics of GAA, with the great numbers of youth in Calgary as well, it won’t be long before we see a youth game becoming a regular occurrence in the Alberta Cup.
Over in the Toronto Division clubs continued their preseason training with Durham and Toronto Gaels focusing on their strength and conditioning. St Pats kicked on with their indoor training while Le Cheile dusted the cobwebs off the hurley’s and got going for 2023. St Vincent’s took to the outdoors for their first session with a huge crowd turning up to tog out. To celebrate St Patrick’s Day, clubs from across Toronto took part in the St Patrick’s Day Parade where the county flags from Ireland were proudly displayed as players marched down the streets.
In the Eastern Division, Montreal Shamrocks indoor training and Super League rolled on with more impressive score-lines throughout the month, kudos to Goose Village Blackrock’s with a score of 11-17 to Concordia Warriors 8-11 in the Ladies Football, serious score-lines! Eire Og Ottawa hosted Montreal for a day of Hurling that saw great numbers attend and show off the great work being done by both clubs to develop the game. Na Fianna Katarokwi hosted a “Try-it Sport Day” at Queens University in Kingston where attendees got to try out Aussie rules, Football and Hurling, well done Na Fianna for introducing GAA to the wider audience in Kingston! Halifax Gaels and Peterborough chipped away with their indoor training while Ottawa hosted co-ed Gaelic Games and Alumni night on March 25th.
In the Vancouver Division clubs gathered for the St Patrick’s Tournament on Saturday 18th where both Ladies and Men’s Football were on display with teams from St Finnian’s, ISSC and Vancouver Eire Og lining out. Vancouver Wolfe Tones also had the opportunity to take the tags off their new jerseys and line out for the first time as a club. ISSC Ladies and St Finnian’s Men were the victors on the day in what was a great day of GAA in Vancouver. Clubs then gathered to kick off the Vancouver GAA Spring League with games on nightly, with over 10 days of games seen so far the competition is heating up fast! With the hurling clubs like JP Ryan’s and Wolfe Tones taking part in this football competition, it is sure to make the Spring League extremely competitive. March 13th saw the first installment of the Cu Chulainn 11s Tournament which saw 5 teams from Cu Chulainn Hurling club battle it out with the second installment producing more intense games with the Rebel Raiders and The Forgotten County currently tied for first place. Great to see such high numbers from one club, well done to all involved. Over on Vancouver Island, Van Isle Rovers had their first training session of the year with nearly 30 people turn up eager to learn all about Gaelic Football!
It was a busy month for members of the Canada GAA County Board with Planning and Training Officer Jimmy Doyle travelling to County Meath on March 3rd for the annual LGFA Congress. At the end of March PRO Maria Ryan travelled to County Tipperary to represent Canada at the annual Camogie Congress.
Another big event in March took place on Sunday 5th that saw over 500 people gather in the Hilton hotel in Toronto to honour our Canada GAA Secretary Sean Harte as Toronto’s Irish Person Of the Year. The room was filled with people from across Canada, all of whom Sean has had a massive impact on through his work with Canada GAA over the years. Well done and Congratulations Sean!
On March 25th players across Canada joined the first phase of the LGFA “Grab Your Whistle” Referee course online, a big thank you to the LGFA for allowing us the opportunity to train up more referees here in Canada.
With the snow starting to melt across the country, it’s great to see all the clubs continuing with their indoor training with eyes firmly set on the fields and pitches just waiting for the snow to melt so they can get outdoors.