ALL CHINA GAELIC GAMES 2014 – GAMES REPORT
The 12th annual All-China Gaelic Games were held in Shanghai on 31 May 2014 at the Shanghai Rugby Football Club (SRFC).
Founded in 1997, the SRFC is non-profit sports club in Pudong that boasts a 1,200sqm clubhouse with family friendly food options & full bar facilities, 4 international standard grass fields, floodlit astro-turf soccer pitch, tennis courts, indoor & outdoor children’s play area, and car parking for 100 cars & 6 buses.
This was the 5th time Shanghai has hosted the tournament since its inception in 2002 (the last time being 2011). An unprecedented 240 players; 20 teams – 12 men’s and 8 women’s teams, were in attendance from around China and North Asia including Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong, Suzhou, Dalian & Seoul. Participants were from a wide spectrum of different countries and regions around the world including Ireland, China, USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland, France and Belgium.
Concerted efforts to increase Shanghai GAA club membership over the past few years were well rewarded with Shanghai entering 7 teams; 4 men’s teams and 3 women’s teams. Among these, for the first time ever, a Shanghai Moms team & Shanghai Dads team. Irish Consul General Austin Gormley and Deputy Consul General Eoghan Duffy were both in attendance; both played on the Shanghai Dads team.
With an unpromising forecast of rain for the day of the event, 6-8 weeks of consistently rainy Saturdays and at times high pollution levels leading up to the games, the tournament was blessed with a break in the weather – with an absolutely glorious day; 27degC, beautiful blue skies, light winds, and low pollution levels. It was no surprise then that there were large numbers of spectators and high levels of participation in the Shanghai GAA children’s showcase tournament with 4 teams (around 35 children) aged 5-12yrs.
After over 40 physically and emotionally intense games the results were as follows:
Cup: Hong Kong A
Cup Runners Up: Shanghai Young-uns
Plate Runners Up: Hong Kong B
Cup: Shanghai A
Cup Runners Up: Seoul
Plate: Shanghai B
Plate Runners Up: Dalian A
Bowl: Hong Kong B
Bowl Runners Up: Beijing B
As the date of the tournament coincided with the Dragon Boat Festival public holiday in China, participants and supporters enjoyed 3 days of festivities surrounding the event which began with a later than sensible night to open the games at “The Blarney Stone Pub”. “The Camel Sports Bar” which hosted the post tournament celebrations was heaving with around 275 attendees who partied into the wee hours. Phenomenal stamina was demonstrated with around 110 going on to attend a brunch at “glo London” the following day that went on for over 6 hours. Alan Cowell & his Tipsy Fiddlers provided live music at the brunch which created a truly Irish atmosphere befitting the close of tournament.
The Shanghai Gaelic Football Club would like to express its appreciation to the 2014 tournament sponsors: CRH, JJ-Premier Medical Care, Sepam, Magners Irish Cider, SPINA Fitness, glo London, Smyth & Browne and club sponsors: Kerry, Moore Watson Mineral Processing Limited, JJ-Premier Medical Care, The Camel Sports Bar, Pacific Prime International Health Insurance, PM Group, Shanghai Ireland Association, DistagQCs, AM, and Dragon Events.
Photo credits: Jackie Foo, Michael Poehler, Seven Cheng, Ling Teo
For more photos of the event look for us on Facebook: Shanghai GAA