14 Oct 2016
14th October, 2016 – UCD today announced that it is sending an International Ladies’ GAA Team to participate in the 21st Edition of the FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games in Shanghai, China. The 12-person international student team will travel from Ireland and comprises women from six countries including Germany, Spain, the USA, the Philippines, the Netherlands and Vietnam.
Since 2014, over 150 international students have answered the call to train for a position on the UCD International Ladies’ GAA Team. Now in its third year, most of the players have had no prior GAA experience but have come together with great enthusiasm to learn the sport in the hopes of representing University College Dublin at the tournament.
The team was officially unveiled today and a host of GAA greats were on hand to offer some advice.
Commenting on the team, Brian Mullins, a GAA great himself and Director of Sport at University College Dublin said “The FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games were set up to promote Gaelic Games and GAA overseas. We have over 5,000 international students here in UCD, and we felt that we could play our part by promoting Gaelic Games among this group.”
He added “The UCD International Ladies’ team are looking forward to building on the success of their 2014 and 2015 campaign and we hope that other Colleges likes Queen’s University Belfast last year, follow our lead by fielding its first international ladies’ GAA team for the tournaments in the future”.
The FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games will take place in Shanghai, China. Throw in for the first game takes place at 8am on Saturday, November 5th culminating in the finals at 6pm on Sunday, 6th November and will feature 65 teams from 20 clubs across 18 countries in Asia. UCD this year is the only Irish institution fielding an international team.
Director General of the GAA, Páraic Duffy commented: “The Asian Gaelic Games is a true reflection of the work and commitment of the Asian County Board and the participating players, managers and their support networks. I would like to extend my best wishes to all those involved in the 2016 edition and to thank FEXCO for their continued support.”
Signing on as sponsors for the travelling team are ESB International, Bank of Ireland, O’Neill’s Sport and Red Torch Ginger.
Commenting on the sponsorship, Ollie Brogan, Managing Director at ESB International, said “ESB International has been sending our best female talent to represent us on the international stage for the past forty years, so it’s an excellent fit for us to be involved in supporting UCD International Ladies’ GAA team for another year”.
Gavin Leech, University Branch Montrose, Bank of Ireland, said “Bank of Ireland is delighted to support UCD's International Ladies’ GAA Team in their quest for honours at the 2016 FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games. This is an exciting opportunity for the squad of players to represent UCD and we wish them well in their adventures in Shanghai.”
Commenting on the tournament, Joe Trolan, Chairperson of the Asian County Board, said “Speaking about the 2015 FEXCO Asian Gaelic Games, Joe Trolan, Chairperson of the Asian County Board, said: “2015 represented a significant milestone when we celebrated the 20th anniversary of the Asian Gaelic Games. Now, in 2016 we can look ahead to the next decade of the Games as we welcome the newest generation of players to the sport from across Asia. The event continues to grow from strength to strength due in no small part to the support of companies like FEXCO helping to make the vision of the Games a reality every year. The UCD team were a great addition to our competition which demonstrates the continued growth in Ladies’ GAA football and how International our games truly are”.