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Posted 10 September 2014

UCD’s first of its kind international ladies GAA team enter 2014 FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games

UCD has announced that it is sending a first of its kind international ladies GAA team to this year’s 2014 FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games. The 12-person team is the first international student team to travel from Ireland and comprises women from nine countries including Malaysia, China, Singapore, Vietnam, Nigeria, Poland, USA, Denmark and Sweden.

The team was officially chosen after a week-long boot camp, which saw a squad of 20 international students take up the game of Gaelic football, and compete to be chosen to join the 12 woman squad, which will travel to the games in October.

UCD international students who took part in the boot camp in advance of the team selection for the FECO Asian Gaelic Games

Pictured farright(l-r): Rachel Adeoye, Agata Blasiak, Brian Mullins, UCD Director of Sport, Ollie Brogan, Managing Director, ESB International, Bittini Ribagyiza and Low Yik Chin. UCD, Belfield, Dublin.

The idea was inspired by Paraic McGrath, Vice-Chairperson of the Asian County Board, and Brian Mullins, Director of Sport at University College Dublin, and has been drawing significant attention and support at UCD and from a number of supporting organisations.

“The FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games were set up to promote Gaelic football and the GAA overseas. We have 6,000 international students here in UCD, and we felt that we could play our part by promoting Gaelic Games among this group by creating this team,” said Brian Mullins, Director of Sport at UCD.

“In order to get involved, we insisted that the students must be non-Irish. Importantly, they don’t have to have played Gaelic football before, but many have played other sports such as basketball and netball and are comfortable with hand-passing and other skills that can be transferred to GAA,” he added.

The tournament is a nine-a-side competition covering 200 matches, run over two days. The novice students will compete in the Ladies’ Junior Division. There are seven trophies to be won across men’s and ladies’ football and hurling along with the Derek Brady Cup for the Senior Men’s Division.

Signing on as sponsors for the travelling team are ESB International, Bank of Ireland, and O’Neills Sport. 

“Gaelic games are an important part of Irish life, our heritage, and our communities so we welcome the opportunity to support the UCD International ladies team as they embark on their campaign to compete in the Asian Gaelic Games,” said Ollie Brogan, Managing Director, ESB International, who are one of the sponsors of the team.

“We have strong links with Asia and we are currently expanding our business there so we are delighted to be involved in these games and to help support the growth of the sport overseas.”

The FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games are held annually in different cities in Asia and attracts 50 teams and over 700 players from clubs across Asia. This year the games are hosted by Orang Éire GAA in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and take place from 10-12 October.

“Bank of Ireland is delighted to support UCD's International Ladies GAA team in their quest for honours at the 2014 FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games. This is an exciting opportunity for the squad of players to represent UCD and we are delighted to be associated with it and to help in any way we can. We hope they enjoy the experience and wish them well in their adventures in Kuala Lumpur,” said Brian Harman, Commercial Branch Manager, University Branch Montrose, Bank of Ireland, another of the team sponsors.

Paraic McGrath, Vice-Chairman, Asian County Board said: “On behalf of the Asian County Board I am delighted to welcome the UCD team to the Gaelic Games tournament in Kuala Lumpur in October. Their participation rose from a seed of an idea and discussion with Dublin GAA legend Brian Mullins, demonstrating that persevering, and putting efforts behind an idea bears fruit. The UCD International team will highlight Gaelic Games internationally in countries were the students hail from as well as in Ireland. We wish them the best of luck.”

UCD ladies GAA team travelling to FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games:

Agata Blasiak (Poland) studying for PhD Science; Bettina Ribagyiza (Uganda) studying for BSc Nursing; Alexandria Remus (USA) studying for MSc; Caitlin Bendoraitis (USA) studying for BSc Physiotherapy; Doyinsola Ishola (Nigeria) studying for BSc Engineering; Junnan Lu (China) studying for PhD Science; Madeleine Sertic (Canada) studying for MB; Hafizah Abdul Ghani (Malaysia) studying for MSc Strategic Management & Planning; Aisling Kerr (USA) studying for BBL (Study Abroad); Claire O’Neill (USA) studying for BComm; Doris Obialor (Nigeria) studying for BSc Nursing; Thanh Nguyen (Vietnam) studying for MSc Project Management.

(Produced by UCD University Relations)


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Rachel Adeoye, Agata Blasiak, Brian Mullins, UCD Director of Sport, Ollie Brogan, Managing Director, ESB International, Bittini Ribagyiza and Low Yik Chin. UCD, Belfield, Dublin.
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