500 players arrive in Singapore
June 23, 2007
Seamus Howlin with some of the lady players from the host club, Singapore Gaelic Lions at the opening of the Asian Gaelic Games in Singapore
Friday 22 Jun 2007 saw the opening of the 12th annual Asian Gaelic Games with a gala event at the Asian Civilisations Museum, one of Singapore's most famous buildings.
Former Tánaiste and Kerry footballer Dick Spring joined a number of Irish Ambassadors from across the region at the event to offer his personal congratulations to the 500 plus participants who had arrived into Singapore throughout the week to take part in what will be the biggest Asian Gaelic Games to date.
The Vice-Chairman of the Leinster Council, Sheamus Howlin delivered a personal message from the President of the Gaelic Athletic Association, Nickey Brennan, who had planned to travel out for the games but was unable to do so due to meetings at Croke Park on Saturday. Brennan highlighted the growth of GAA games in Asia - "When visiting Dubai in January with the All Stars, we had the opportunity to meet with many of the people involved in the GAA in Asia and the progress that is being made is truly astounding. With the Asian County Board now fully affiliated since the GAA's Annual Congress in 2007, these are exciting times for our Games in the East. The sense of identity and community on which our games are based appeals greatly to all who get involved in their promotion - be they of Irish descent or not - and I am sure there is still significant potential for continued growth of the GAA around the world."
In particular, he paid tribute to the extraordinary work of dedicated GAA members saying: "The dedication of so many to the promotion, development and enjoyment of our Gaelic games is truly astounding and is one of the main reasons why Gaelic Football and Hurling will always have a future both at home and abroad. This weekend is another fine example of the manner in which the GAA continues to flourish overseas due to the hard work of our clubs and their members abroad and I want to say a special "Thank You" to everyone involved in the Singapore Lions Club and the various Irish groups in Singapore who worked together to make this a reality."
There were 4 adult mens & womens competitions of 7-a-side gaelic football with Hong Kong & Dubai defending their Asian crowns while the battle to be named the first Asian Hurling Champions featured hosts Singapore, Dubai, Korea & Shenzen from China. In addition there were gaelic football matches between the Gaelic Cubs (boys & girls aged 4-14) & the local Australian rules team.
The event was hosted by the Singapore Gaelic Lions Club, under the auspices of the Asian County Board.
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