Visually impaired hurling event – pictured above Limerick Senior Captain Declan Hannon coaching the kids
Teens RISE to the Challenge of Hurling at visually impaired hurling event
The RISE Project established by the National Council for the Blind of Ireland (NCBI) organised the first visually impaired hurling event in Ireland, for our young service users on Saturday, December, 17.
Gaelscoil Chaladh an Treoigh based in Castletroy Co. Limerick, were generous enough to host the session at the last minute due to poor weather conditions. The session was the first of its kind and had the support of the three in a row, All Ireland Championship winning, Limerick Senior Hurling team. Limerick Senior Captain Declan Hannon and teammate Aaron Costello facilitated the event.
This visually impaired hurling event would not have achieved its level of success if it wasn’t for the collaboration with Vision Sports Ireland and Geraldine McTavish, the GAA Diversity and Inclusion Officer and the support of NCBI’s Children’s team on the day.
The National Council for the Blind of Ireland commented, “The GAA is a massive part of Irish culture, and we were proud to be able to make it more accessible to our service users with their parents cheering from the side-lines. This event championed inclusivity, diversity, and accessibility to a sport renowned in Ireland while celebrating the culture of GAA amongst the families who attended. The session focused on orientation, mobility, endurance, and adaptive GAA equipment. It was a great opportunity for our different service users to meet and get to know each other and for their parents to meet other parents in our service and establishing a connection between them all.”
A light-hearted (quite competitive) game closed the session. Declan and Aaron presented medals to their groups in the form of ‘Participation Achievement Awards.’
To thank the Limerick players for their support on the day, the group gathered to present the Limerick Players with a trophy. It may not be a Liam McCarthy, but it was still the first trophy for the Limerick Team going into the new year.
Aoibhe a service user with NCBI who participated on the day said, “I enjoyed hurling with the lads, and I definitely worked up a sweat, I would like to keep doing the rise project because the staff are all really nice and gave great tips. The best part was presenting the Trophy to the lads.”
GAA Diversity and Inclusion officer Ger McTavish added, “Inclusion is about making a difference. Inclusivity is a movement, a move to include. Being truly inclusive is living our GAA motto, ‘Where we all Belong’.”