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Is GAA, Or More Specifically It's Prominence, A Bad Thing For Irish Sport?

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The question is there.

Given countries like Norway, Sweden, Croatia etc are so infinitely superior to us at global sports, is the obvious reason, the prominence we place on GAA in this country? Kids are almost forced into it in school and anyone who shows any prowess has the pressure of the world on them to "play club"
Is this stopping them becoming stars in other, more lucrative and high profile sports?
Is GAA possibly even a negative for Ireland, in 2024?


I'll go again, shall I !!

Liamwalkinstown (Dublin) - Posts: 8166 - 21/09/2023 18:10:28    2505105

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Replying To Liamwalkinstown:  "The question is there.

Given countries like Norway, Sweden, Croatia etc are so infinitely superior to us at global sports, is the obvious reason, the prominence we place on GAA in this country? Kids are almost forced into it in school and anyone who shows any prowess has the pressure of the world on them to "play club"
Is this stopping them becoming stars in other, more lucrative and high profile sports?
Is GAA possibly even a negative for Ireland, in 2024?


I'll go again, shall I !!"
When I saw the thread title, I expected this to be a post from Tom Smith from Cavan :)

But anyway - I think it's an irrefutable fact that if there was no hurling or gaelic football, and talented natural athletes put their efforts into other sports instead, then we'd have a higher class of performers in those other sports.

David Clifford, for example, may well have been a Premier League soccer player or a world-class rugby player if there was no gaelic football and he'd grown up playing one of those sports instead.

Would disagree though that kids "are almost forced into it in school". I speak as one who's been involved in efforts set up at both county and provincial level in response to overall declining participation rates in schools, and an overall general reduction in the hours/efforts given to gaelic games by schools.

Would also disagree that "the pressure of the world" prevents them from pursuing other sports. Think you're overstating it by more than just a little there!

Pikeman96 (Wexford) - Posts: 2155 - 22/09/2023 11:29:29    2505167

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Replying To Liamwalkinstown:  "The question is there.

Given countries like Norway, Sweden, Croatia etc are so infinitely superior to us at global sports, is the obvious reason, the prominence we place on GAA in this country? Kids are almost forced into it in school and anyone who shows any prowess has the pressure of the world on them to "play club"
Is this stopping them becoming stars in other, more lucrative and high profile sports?
Is GAA possibly even a negative for Ireland, in 2024?


I'll go again, shall I !!"
To me this reads more like blaming the GAA for the failures of other sports. The prominence we place on GAA is not doing rugby any harm at the moment. I would argue it wouldn't harm our Soccer team either if the FAI had their house in order.

In fact its probably more likely that the community involvement through the GAA from a young age, getting kids into sport has a positive effect on all sports. There are plenty of examples of promising underage players leaving the GAA behind and having a successful professional sports career in other sports.

If someone has the talent to be a premier league footballer or a provincial rugby player or a top inter-county player - it is up to them to decide which to pursue.

brianb (Kildare) - Posts: 271 - 22/09/2023 14:48:04    2505223

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There are many facets to this question. I.e. Is it a bad thing in what regard?

Does it potentially prevent us from seeing sportspeople excel in other sports, such as athletics, soccer etc?
Almost certainly, but as a whole you're talking about a very small minority of those who play, who might have 'made it' in another sport.

The trade off for this however, far outweighs it in my opinion though. With GAA clubs being so engrained in almost every town and village in the country, you have more kids and adults taking part in sport that simply wouldn't have otherwise. Of course plenty would have played other sports, but many wouldn't without the pull of the local GAA club being there.
That's before I even get go the social and community aspect of GAA clubs. Soccer and rugby clubs are of course big parts of their communities, but they're a bit more transient as players can and do move clubs much more frequently.

In terms of other sports, I'd actually say the biggest hindrance is access and availability, rather than the GAA. Most kids who play hurling or football, will also play other sports, usually soccer as it's accessible. If they're very talented at soccer or rugby, then that's the patch they will take. We've seen plenty examples.
However, access to track and field for example is very poor in this country compared to others in Europe. Giving kids better access to participate in these sports would be a big step forward.

WanPintWin (Galway) - Posts: 1997 - 22/09/2023 14:55:29    2505225

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Are you just talking about soccer?

Boxers, golfers and jockeys all seem to doing just fine.

Rugby aren't too bad either.

We're pretty small and can't do everything.

Our own sports are just better.

Doylerwex (Wexford) - Posts: 2548 - 22/09/2023 16:12:33    2505239

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Don't worry about it Liam. You share your colonised mindset and inferiority complex with most Irish people, including most of those prominent in public life.

i used to think there might be a cure but our history suggests that i am mistaken. Pity so many people died under that illusion.

BarneyGrant (Dublin) - Posts: 2420 - 22/09/2023 16:15:30    2505240

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Yes quite probably it does impact our impact on global sports, but the knock on effect of that in Ireland is quite minimal. We've a kicker in the nfl, a striker in the premier league in soccer.. so what?

The GAA's impact is on its local community, an entity for everyone to get behind in some form or another and to feel involved. It's part of our dna and culture, the tribal nature of the GAA is reflected in our society where we're all able to have our differences and come together at the same time.

A major advantage of the GAA over international sports is the parochial setup of the GAA, where players generally can't flit between clubs. Theres generally very little danger of the clubs going to get someone from the outside to replace you if you aren't performing - it's up to your teammates and managers to help you improve. Condor this to say soccer, where at every level everyone involved is trying to improve the team above all, which in the end is usually a ruthless pursuit.

David Clifford could be off playing for Man Utd, so what. He's inspiring the locals in his own community who can see him, speak to him and get to know him year round, and if he gets injured - he'll still be a part of the community. That's the value of the GAA, in almost any other team sport - once you're not performing, you're out. Next man up, doesn't matter who he is or where he's from.

Jjoniel79 (Monaghan) - Posts: 121 - 22/09/2023 17:25:36    2505245

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Research Norway and see that one of the reasons they are flourishing is the access to sport and variety of sports they play.

You could argue towns and places could be more multi sport orientated and share facilities and make sure kids get to play as many as possible from an early age without the barriers of costs, but that kind of utopia would have GAA at the centre of it and possibly in charge of much of its governance.

shaggykev (Donegal) - Posts: 184 - 22/09/2023 19:33:39    2505256

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Howdy Liam, long time no hear. I'd say it's a huge obstacle as far as being more successful in other sports internationally.
We'd be the NZ of rugby and pretty handy at the 'beautiful' game too I'd wager.
But thing is, I don't care, GAA is my first love and as long as it's around, it always will be.

realdub (Dublin) - Posts: 8556 - 22/09/2023 20:05:37    2505258

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Replying To Liamwalkinstown:  "The question is there.

Given countries like Norway, Sweden, Croatia etc are so infinitely superior to us at global sports, is the obvious reason, the prominence we place on GAA in this country? Kids are almost forced into it in school and anyone who shows any prowess has the pressure of the world on them to "play club"
Is this stopping them becoming stars in other, more lucrative and high profile sports?
Is GAA possibly even a negative for Ireland, in 2024?


I'll go again, shall I !!"
I wouldnt say its a bad thing for irish sport but its not great. its more a training of teachers and experience of teachers etc that many dont have experience of playing many other sports so its harder to introduce new sports into schools etc
We dont have enough facilities for many sports in ireland which doesnt help things either.

KillingFields (Limerick) - Posts: 3463 - 22/09/2023 20:44:42    2505262

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Replying To Jjoniel79:  "Yes quite probably it does impact our impact on global sports, but the knock on effect of that in Ireland is quite minimal. We've a kicker in the nfl, a striker in the premier league in soccer.. so what?

The GAA's impact is on its local community, an entity for everyone to get behind in some form or another and to feel involved. It's part of our dna and culture, the tribal nature of the GAA is reflected in our society where we're all able to have our differences and come together at the same time.

A major advantage of the GAA over international sports is the parochial setup of the GAA, where players generally can't flit between clubs. Theres generally very little danger of the clubs going to get someone from the outside to replace you if you aren't performing - it's up to your teammates and managers to help you improve. Condor this to say soccer, where at every level everyone involved is trying to improve the team above all, which in the end is usually a ruthless pursuit.

David Clifford could be off playing for Man Utd, so what. He's inspiring the locals in his own community who can see him, speak to him and get to know him year round, and if he gets injured - he'll still be a part of the community. That's the value of the GAA, in almost any other team sport - once you're not performing, you're out. Next man up, doesn't matter who he is or where he's from."
If David Clifford won a premier league medal with Man Utd, not many in Kerry would care beyond a few die hard Utd fans.

He became a hero for life in the whole of Kerry in 2022 when he won the All Ireland.

Thousands were out on the street to welcome himself and his Kerry teammates home.

That is the difference in Ireland and why the GAA is so strong.

Past hurler (None) - Posts: 698 - 23/09/2023 07:05:17    2505269

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Replying To Liamwalkinstown:  "The question is there.

Given countries like Norway, Sweden, Croatia etc are so infinitely superior to us at global sports, is the obvious reason, the prominence we place on GAA in this country? Kids are almost forced into it in school and anyone who shows any prowess has the pressure of the world on them to "play club"
Is this stopping them becoming stars in other, more lucrative and high profile sports?
Is GAA possibly even a negative for Ireland, in 2024?


I'll go again, shall I !!"
Norway,Sweden, Croatia superior to us in global sports. Strange mix of countries first of all. The only common denominator is soccer. That's a global sport that we are inferior at. Rugby isn't a global sport. Very few countries actually play it at a high-level. Snooker is a sport for a select few countries, All winter sports are confined main to the Nordic countries. Not a lot of table tennis to be got in Europe. The list is endless

eoinog (Sligo) - Posts: 1574 - 23/09/2023 08:36:15    2505277

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Replying To Past hurler:  "If David Clifford won a premier league medal with Man Utd, not many in Kerry would care beyond a few die hard Utd fans.

He became a hero for life in the whole of Kerry in 2022 when he won the All Ireland.

Thousands were out on the street to welcome himself and his Kerry teammates home.

That is the difference in Ireland and why the GAA is so strong."
Bingo, nailed it

Jjoniel79 (Monaghan) - Posts: 121 - 23/09/2023 13:12:23    2505315

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Replying To eoinog:  "Norway,Sweden, Croatia superior to us in global sports. Strange mix of countries first of all. The only common denominator is soccer. That's a global sport that we are inferior at. Rugby isn't a global sport. Very few countries actually play it at a high-level. Snooker is a sport for a select few countries, All winter sports are confined main to the Nordic countries. Not a lot of table tennis to be got in Europe. The list is endless"
Rugby is only really a sport played by the former colonies anyway. Same with cricket. I wouldn't call it a global sport. A World Cup made up of the same 10 teams each time plus a few whipping boys usually made up of transfers from South Africa doesn't really sound that global to me

Jjoniel79 (Monaghan) - Posts: 121 - 23/09/2023 13:14:47    2505316

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How could the GAA be a bad thing for irish sport, it's part and parcel of irish sport, the jewel in the crown as far as I'm concerned.
Id never trade it for a slightly improved soccer team, or Olympic team, especially in the modern age where many soccer players seem to be far more committed to their clubs than their countries.

Galway9801 (Galway) - Posts: 1621 - 23/09/2023 19:44:16    2505355

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Replying To Galway9801:  "How could the GAA be a bad thing for irish sport, it's part and parcel of irish sport, the jewel in the crown as far as I'm concerned.
Id never trade it for a slightly improved soccer team, or Olympic team, especially in the modern age where many soccer players seem to be far more committed to their clubs than their countries."
Now you're talking.

Nothing on planet earth sportswise matches All Ireland hurling final day 82,500 clash of the ash!!

Past hurler (None) - Posts: 698 - 23/09/2023 21:01:37    2505361

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If the GAA is such a bad influence, why is it becoming so popular worldwide? The GAA has now more than 400 clubs outside of Ireland. A friend of mine told me that he attended the Asian Gaelic Games in Shanghai in 2007 and amazingly the local ladies team comprised of 12 different nationalities; one Irish. In the AGGs they play either 7 or 9 aside, with a panel of 12.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jun/22/love-of-the-irish-why-are-gaelic-games-so-popular-in-asia

foreveryoung (USA) - Posts: 1866 - 24/09/2023 02:27:10    2505391

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Replying To Past hurler:  "Now you're talking.

Nothing on planet earth sportswise matches All Ireland hurling final day 82,500 clash of the ash!!"
Except the ALL IRELAND football Final of course.
Hurling doesn't concern many of us north of a line between Galway and Dublin.

Seanfanbocht (Roscommon) - Posts: 1284 - 24/09/2023 10:27:22    2505406

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Having two great national games impacts on the global games alright. People will follow the path of the sport they want though. John Egan is the captain of the Irish soccer team. Kevin Moran moved across the water to play soccer. Great national games and global games can coexist. The GAA cannot sustain a professional structure. Rugby needs to pool with other countries for professionalism. Soccer possibly can attain a professional 10 or 12.
The prominence of GAA is not a bad thing. It is uniquely Irish. Other sports have the platform of representing the country of the world stage. Both can coexist.

legendzxix (Kerry) - Posts: 7717 - 24/09/2023 12:35:02    2505421

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Replying To Seanfanbocht:  "Except the ALL IRELAND football Final of course.
Hurling doesn't concern many of us north of a line between Galway and Dublin."
The football is fine, and much more palatable for visitors, but for me there's nothing like the hurling.

It's the real display of our culture and our people.

It's a terrible shame there are so few who take it seriously among us.

Doylerwex (Wexford) - Posts: 2548 - 24/09/2023 12:44:18    2505424

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