A group of gaelic footballers from Oman had a weekend to remember in Sligo on the eve of their participation in the 2016 GAA World Games.
The International Office at IT Sligo facilitated a special visit by 39 members of the Oman GAA Club, made up almost entirely of non-Irish nationalities.
The trip formed part of the group’s ‘World Tour of Ireland’ which took in a number of towns and locations around Ireland, and was part of the team’s preparation the GAA World Games in Dublin.
As part of their Sligo itinerary, the visiting Omani delegation was accorded a Civic Reception by Sligo County Council.
They then played an exhibition match at Sligo GAA’s Centre of Excellence in Scarden, against local team, Drumcliffe/Rosses Point GAA Club. Sligo GAA qualified coaches also conducted a special training session for the players who are relative newcomers to the sport.
There was also an opportunity for the players to sample some of Sligo’s outdoor adventure activities, as they took part in a Stand-Up-Paddling and Kayaking sessions.
“It was a fantastic trip and we are deeply grateful to IT Sligo, Sligo GAA and Sligo County Council for the welcome we received,” explained Steph McQuaid, who is Chairperson of Oman GAA.
The ‘Sligo leg’ of their Ireland visit was organised by the International Office at IT Sligo.
“IT Sligo currently has 60 undergraduate students from Oman, all of whom are sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE),” explains Patrick Lynch, who is the Institute’s International Manager.
“We are delighted to have been able to help organise the accommodation, events and logistics for the visiting Omani delegation during their Sligo visit.”
Oman GAA Club was established in 2012 and is focused on introducing non-Irish players to the sport. To date the club has welcomed over 20 different nationalities as registered players. The club is open to all levels, male and female,
Oman GAA is taking part in the second GAA World Games in Dublin. 56 international teams from 20 countries (made up largely of non-Irish players) are taking part in football, hurling and camogie competitions with the finals being held at Croke Park.
Members of the Oman GAA Club with Cllr Hubert Keaney, Cathaoirleach of Sligo County Council, during a Civic Reception for the visiting group in Sligo.