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Meet Our 2017 Spring League Sponsors!

spring league 2017 sponsors

We are so excited and grateful to announce our sponsors for 2017 Spring League! We hope you’ll support them as they’re supporting us, by visiting their websites, saying hi on social media, and–if you have a few extra dollars–with a purchase or two.

Corporate Sponsor

Quore Hotel Software

Supporting us for a second season, Quore hotel management software enjoyed sponsoring our Fall League 2016 victors. Quore is changing the way the hospitality industry provides service, and we’re excited to wear their logo every Sunday for our matches.

Pub Sponsor

Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace

Also supporting for a second season is Homegrown Taproom and Marketplace. We enjoy visiting Homegrown in Donelson after every other Sunday match for delicious food and a huge selection of craft beer. Thanks, Homies!

Brewery Sponsor

East Nashville Beer Works

We’re so excited to announce our newest sponsor for 2017: East Nashville Beer Works. We’ve already enjoyed their handmade pizzas and amazing beer at jersey reveals and board meetings, so it’s awesome to make this relationship official.

If all of this isn’t exciting enough, there’s more! Each team will have a new jersey design, with Azzurri providing the goods. We’ve seen them. They’re amazing. If you haven’t signed up for the league yet, you better get on that. You don’t want to miss out on one of these jerseys.

We’re also bringing back team nicknames the Ports, Leesiders, and Blue Notes. We want to always give our sponsors the appreciation and recognition they deserve, but we have to hang onto our roots, too. We’ll let you know which team gets which nickname at the jersey reveal.

Exciting stuff for the NGAC! Baile Ceol Abù!

 

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Governor’s Proclamation Declares March 25, 2017, Tennessee Irish Sports Day

governor's proclamation

Governor Bill Haslam has proclaimed March 25, 2017, Irish Sports Day in Tennessee. The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (NGAC), founded by John Watson and Anji Wall in 2013, was the first of its kind in the state.

Gaelic sports quickly spread to Memphis with former NGAC members Jesse Gammons and Eric Vick. Soon after, a club formed in Knoxville, spearheaded by Chief Patrick Harvel, head of the 321st Army Engineer Unit, as a supplement to the Unit’s monthly physical fitness training.

The month of March turns attention to the Irish in preparation for St. Patrick’s Day, but these clubs keep Irish history and culture at the forefront throughout the year. While many Americans have yet to discover the ancient games of hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football, which have been played for thousands of years, most are familiar with derivatives soccer, field hockey, and American football.

The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club will celebrate this proclamation with a tournament of Irish sports on March 25, 2017. Music City will play host to clubs from all across North America, from Colorado to South Carolina, and from Canada to Atlanta. Anyone interested in attending the tournament is encouraged to do so; the event is free of charge and family friendly. Details will soon be released on the club website.

Club membership is open to anyone over the age of eighteen (18). Any skill and fitness level are welcome; no experience with sports of any kind is required. The club furnishes all equipment for beginners, so interested parties should bring only athletic clothes and shoes, plenty of water, and excitement for a new sport.

Read the proclamation at http://tnsos.net/publications/proclamations/files/1153.pdf.

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16 Irish Events to Attend in Nashville in March

march irish events in nashville

Maybe February 10 is too soon to start talking about how we’ll celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Or maybe it’s our favorite holiday of the year, so we start thinking about it and planning for it all year long. It’s probably the second one. If that’s how you feel, too, then you’ll love these Irish events going on all over Nashville during the month of March. You may also appreciate the advance notice so you can get tickets before they sell out.

Some of these are part of the Music City Irish Fest, and you can keep up with that calendar on the festival website. We’re also running a giveaway for one of the events, so keep your eyes on this page to make sure you don’t miss your chance to win.

March 1 – Altan at the Franklin Theatre

This band from Donegal is considered an icon of traditional Irish music. To enjoy an evening of Irish jigs and reels, visit the website and get your tickets soon!

March 2-4 – Irish Film Festival at Watkins College

See some of the most popular Irish movies, including Leap Year, Brooklyn, Waking Ned Devine, and Jimmy’s Hall. (We might ask where The Wind That Shakes the Barley and The Commitments are in this list, but it’s still a good selection). It’s free to the public!

March 6 – TenX9 Storytelling at Douglas Corner Café

Nine people tell nine stories of ten minutes in length. The theme of the night is “Anything Irish,” so prepare to laugh, cry, and rage, as you’re entertained with real stories of Irish joy, struggle, and triumph. Or maybe just a funny story about a lad in a pub.

March 7 – Scots Irish Genealogy Event

Want to learn more about your heritage? Visit The Hermitage and discover your Irish and Scots Irish roots. Costs vary according to the activities you enjoy during the day. Learn more about it at the Hermitage’s website.

March 7-8 – Sharon Shannon at McNamara’s

Two nights of traditional Irish music from Shannon Sharon of County Clare, Ireland. Tickets are $20 per person and can be purchased through the McNamara’s website.

March 9-11 – The Chieftains at The Schermerhorn

Perhaps one of the best known traditional music acts in Ireland right now, The Chieftains tickets are known to sell out quickly, even with multiple shows. Get your tickets now at The Schermerhorn website.

March 11 – Introduction to Irish Sports with the NGAC

The NGAC will host a day of Irish sports for anyone who wants to join. Learning hurling and Gaelic football. If you love it, you can even join the club! Open to any and all over the age of 18, regardless of skill level or current athletic ability.

March 11 – Main Street Brewfest in Franklin

The 14th annual brewfest is a big part of Irish fun. Enjoy Celtic performers and Irish cheer as you sip on some of the best local and craft beer available. Tickets are required, and they sell out quickly. Get them here!

March 12-13 – The Final Days of Wolfe Tone at TPAC

This award-winning play tells the story of Ireland’s foremost rebel from the 1798 Irish rebellion. We’ll be giving tickets away to three lucky winners, but if you don’t want to take a chance on missing out, you can get tickets right now at the TPAC website.

March 14 – Traditional Irish Session at McNamara’s

Grab your instrument and join in as locals and guests play traditional music all evening. We gather there’ll be some room for dancing, too.

March 15 – Andrew Jackson’s 250th Birthday

Celebrate the 7th president’s Irish heritage at The Hermitage. The people of The Hermitage have been great friends to us over the past two years as we introduced hurling to the Highland Games. We reckon it’s because Old Hickory was Irish.

March 16 – Whiskey and Golf at the Sounds Stadium

Do you like whiskey? Do you like putt-putt golf? Then this is the evening for you! Just don’t party too hard on the course, because you have to save yourself for the big day!

March 17 – Party at McNamara’s

Enjoy a full day of Irish food, music, dancing, and fun at McNamara’s Irish Pub in Donelson. There’s a cover charge, so come prepared. The party lasts from 10 am to midnight. You’ll probably see a few of us there!

March 18-19 – Celtic Rhythms on Fire with the Nashville Irish Step Dancers

Enjoy beautiful and passionate Irish dance these two days during St. Patrick’s Day weekend. These tickets do sell quickly, so be sure to grab yours as soon as possible.

March 25 – Music City Invitational Tournament

Watch hurling, camogie, and maybe some Gaelic football as friends from clubs all over North America come to compete for the Music City Cup. The fun starts at 9 am and goes all day, including an after party. More info on that soon, so keep an eye on this page!

New events may crop up as plans are finalized. We’ll update with another post if that happens. For now, start marking your calendars so you can make it to everything!

 

**Edit 2/15 – The East Nashville St. Patrick’s Day Festival will not occur this year. It has been removed from the list. I know; we’ll miss it, too.

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Meet Your 2017 Nashville GAC Board Members

2017 NGAC board members

The board works hard behind the scenes to keep the Nashville GAC rolling throughout the year. We’re here to help you, but first you have to know who to turn to, right?

Chair: Ryan Buckley

Buckley, also known to some as Tim and to others as Ryan, is serving his second year as Chairman. He’s had a long love affair with Irish sports after discovering them while traveling abroad in college. He returned from Ireland and started the MTSU hurling club, which provided support in numbers and skill when the Nashville GAC was created.

He’s a web developer by trade and donated his considerable skill to the Nashville GAC. He also provides graphic design for all marketing materials and developed the club’s brand. When he’s not hurling, he’s probably building rustic farmhouse furniture with his wife, Molly.

You can reach out to him when have fundraising ideas, sponsorship recommendations, or you have a friend who’s interested in Irish sports and wants to learn more.

Vice Chair: Liam Barry

In his home of Cork City, Liam stopped playing hurling at the ripe old age of eight. He started again at age thirty-eight when he joined the Nashville GAC just one month after the first training was held at Centennial Park. He’s served on the board in some capacity ever since, first as Registrar, and then as Vice Chair and interim Secretary.

His day job as Director of IT Operations means he approaches everything with his considerable analytical brain, but he’s also the first to crack open a beer or just crack everyone up with his quick wit. When he’s not playing hurling, he’s either at a board meeting, watching Manchester United with the supporter’s club at Franklin Abbey, or traveling with his wife, Jen.

Fun fact about Liam? His first wife became a nun.

You can contact Liam if you want to serve on a committee or otherwise provide your talents for the growth and support of the club.

Secretary: Danny Espensen

Danny found hurling after coming out to give Gaelic football a try. After kicking around a little bit, he picked up a hurl and hasn’t looked back. One of the newest members of the club, he’s also one of our most passionate. He says he doesn’t remember life before hurling, but it must have been pretty terrible. Except, of course, for his wife, Sarah, who makes everything pretty great.

Danny brings a great deal of organization to the role of secretary. He’s a smart guy. You can reach out to Danny if you ever want to receive information about board meetings or see the minutes of the meetings.

Treasurer: Rayne Leonard

Also serving her second year on the board, Rayne serves as our treasurer. She keeps the money matters on point while also devising new ways to make paying dues and keeping records easier for everyone involved. She’s a brain. A big one.

Rayne, who grew up right here in Tennessee in a Scots Irish family, is a genomics research associate by day (See? Brain.), and when she’s not on the pitch, she can be found in a kayak, rock climbing, or hiking. During her first trip to Ireland, Rayne wasn’t too impressed with the weather. When temps hit 90 degrees in October in Nashville, she realized there might be a draw to the cool mist at the Cliffs of Moher after all.

Reach out to Rayne if you need to pay your club dues or if you want to make a donation to keep the club going and growing.

Registrar: Ryan Culligan

Nashville gained a gem when Louisville native decided to make Middle Tennessee home. As another of the NGAC’s newest members, Ryan has shown immense enthusiasm for Irish sports. He still likes to cheer on U of L whenever any of their sports teams play, though.

A bourbon enthusiast (can anyone from Kentucky not be a bourbon enthusiast?), Ryan spends time away from his job as a research analyst in pubs, probably enjoying bourbon and the occasional pub quiz. If he’s not on the pitch or in a pub—a pretty rare occasion—he’s reading sci-fi books or on a hike.

See Ryan if you haven’t filled out your registration forms and waivers before playing in spring and fall leagues.

Games Development: Brendan Rauer

Brendan Rauer joined the Nashville GAC within 48 hours of moving to Nashville three years ago. A Minnesota native, he honed his sports skills playing ice hockey and even played in the Minnesota State Hockey Tournament. He didn’t learn to play hurling until he moved to Milwaukee and joined the enormous club there.

Named after Brendan Behan, the famed Irish rebel and playwright, Rauer feels a deep connection to Irish culture. He’s a carpenter by trade, a builder of stunning cabinetry. When he’s not working or hurling, he loves hiking and enjoying live music.

If you’d like to be involved in training, developing, or otherwise supporting hurling, camogie, Gaelic football, or youth programs, Brendan is the man to talk to.

Member at Large: Chris Davis

Chris also came to the Nashville GAC by way of the hurling club at MTSU, where he is a PhD student. He teaches microbiology and shuffles colorless liquids around different vials day to day. When he’s not teaching or playing hurling, Chris has an array of hobbies that keep him busy and, most likely, awake at all hours, including gaming, rugby, cooking, Asian cinema, painting, trying to sing (probably at Santa’s Pub), and philosophy.

He’s passionate about Irish sports, and this shows through his creative curse words on the pitch as well as his encouragement to newcomers. He’s approachable and quick-witted, the perfect combination for a Member at Large.

When you have suggestions, comments, questions, or even complaints about the NGAC, talk to Chris. He’ll do his best to make sure you’re always heard.

PR and Marketing: Jen Barry

Jen spends her days freelance marketing and ghostwriting for various clients and then brings that skill to the NGAC after hours. She’s the only non-playing member on the board and has been since the earliest days of the club.

She has an operatic background, something she only uses on rare occasion at karaoke bars. When she’s not writing words for her clients or the NGAC, she publishes books for teens and young adults (and then crosses her fingers and says a little prayer that someone will buy them). She also loves to travel, especially to her husband’s home country of Ireland, though Vegas and New Orleans also hold special places in her heart.

Talk to Jen if you have publicity connections or want to help get the word out on social media. She’d also welcome fun blog topics, interview subjects, and any other assistance you might want to give on spreading the word about Irish sports and culture in Nashville.

So, that’s your 2017 board. Don’t be shy! Let us know if you can help, or if we can help you.

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Contest: Win Tickets to See Christmas with the Celts at City Winery Nashville!

NGAC Giveaway Christmas with The Celts
City Winery Nashville is offering four pair of tickets to Christmas With The Celts through the NGAC, and you could win one! Four lucky winners will be chosen to receive two tickets to the show Thursday, December 22 at 8 pm. First, you have to do something for us… Each requirement comes with multiple entries, for a total of 17 chances to win if you complete them all. The contest is LIVE now until Monday at midnight!
 
The Celts mix lively traditional Irish music and instrumentation with American pop music and their own originals. Don’t miss these top-flight musicians play traditional holiday songs uilleann pipes, Irish whistles, fiddle, bodhran, banjo, five-string bass, drums and of course, the crowd pleasing Irish dancers. Celebrate the holidays at City Winery Nashville with the Celts on Thursday 12/22!
 
If you don’t win (or don’t want to play), you can visit the City Winery Nashville website to buy tickets. We hope to see you all there!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Annual General Meeting and Holiday Party Wrap-Up

AGM Inception We held our Annual General Meeting on December 10, 2016, and followed immediately after with our holiday party. During the meeting, we elected some new board members, re-elected others to their same position, and sadly said goodbye to a few who stepped down to pursue other activities within the club. Now we look forward to an exciting 2017!

2017 Board Members

Chairperson: Ryan Buckley

Vice Chairperson: Liam Barry

Secretary: Danny Espensen

Treasurer: Rayne Leonard

Registrar: Ryan Culligan

Games Development Officer: Brendan Rauer

Member at Large: Chris Davis

PR and Marketing Officer: Jen Barry

We thank our outgoing 2016 board members for their service: Molly Buckley, Registrar; Molly Bombardi-Mount, Secretary; Aaron Joley, Member at Large.

Awards and Special Recognition

Club Member of the Year: Brendan Rauer

The Club Member of the Year is traditionally a player that goes above and beyond with their commitment to the club. Brendan Rauer was consistently 2 hours early for every match, lining fields, flying flags, and creating a festive sporting atmosphere. Outside of matches, he welcomed all new faces at training and puck arounds, volunteering his time to teach the basics. We can’t say “thank you” enough.

Spirit of the NGAC Award: Ben Flynn

Our Spirit of the NGAC Award was added this year to honor a member who embodies what the NGAC is all about. Anyone who has met Ben knows he has a real passion for this club, and it shows through his garrulous personality, his encouragement, his teasing, his endless nicknames for everyone he meets, and his absolute zeal for all things Gaelic sports. We’re lucky he found us!

Rising Star Female: Emily Rodriguez

Rising Star Male: Danny Espensen

Most Improved Female: Virginia Poole

Most Improved Male: Ryan Culligan

Player of the Year Female: Britti Himmelfarb

Player of the Year Male: Chris “Chris Davis” Davis

Superlatives

Most Original Curse Words: Ben Flynn

Most Likely to Be Late: Caleb Harper

Most Likely to Wear a Dirty Jersey: Corbett Ouellette

Most Likely to Ask a Girl to Prom: Chase Quirk

Loudest Spectator: Amy “Chase’s Mom” Quirk

Most Dedicated Spectator: Lee Ann Lambdin

Most Dedicated Rookie: Danny Espensen

Least Likely to Pass a Breathalyzer at the Pitch: Doug Shaughnessy

Most Likely to Retire After This Season: Aaron Joley

Most Likely to Be Spotted at the Pub: David Smith

Most Likely to Go to the Hospital: Brendan “Oak” Reynolds

Best Referee: Renee Anzivino

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Where Have I Seen Hurling Before?

hurling in pop culture

When we tell people about hurling, we generally get the same three or four responses from those unfamiliar with the game.

  • Curling? Like with the broom and the ice?
  • Hurling? Like when you drink too much and throw up?
  • I think I’ve seen it before, but I don’t know where.

If you’re someone giving that third response, maybe we can help. Believe it or not, you probably have seen hurling before. Maybe you just didn’t know what you were looking at. We’ve tracked down some of the most popular hurling appearances in American pop culture to help you out.

President Obama Gives Hurling a Try

There is no greater American reference to hurling than our president wielding a hurl.

Making a Murderer Lawyer Loves Hurling

making a murderer hurling

Attorney Dean Strang was surprised to learn how many people were interested in that hurling statue. As popular as the sport is growing in America, he shouldn’t have been.

Jason Statham Gives Us the Perfect Description

Ahh, the phrase that launched a thousand T-shirts.

ER Started It All

It’s possible this reference is so old that you’re more familiar with hurling than you are with ER. If that’s the case, don’t even tell me about it.

CSI:NY Joins In

Well, they tried.

 

Did any of these introduce you to hurling? These are decidedly American references, so they don’t cover all the bases. You may have also seen the opening scene in The Wind That Shakes the Barley. You might have caught the reference in The Quiet Man. It’s possible you heard Shane McGowan and The Pogues sing about it in The Broad Majestic Shannon. These are all even more possible if you’re in touch with your Irish roots.

If you’re intrigued and want to know more than ER or CSI:NY could ever tell you, drop us a line. We’ll let you know the next time we’re playing so you can see it for yourself.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Call for Nominations for the 2017 NGAC Board

Nominations will be accepted for the following open Board positions from November 17th to December 8th.

1. Vice Chairman
2. Secretary
3. Member at Large
4. Games Development
5. Registrar
6. Public Relations Officer (PRO)

Nominations should be sent via email to: nashvillegac@gmail.com.

Please check with the nominee before nominating them to make sure they are interested in the position.

Nominees are permitted to send one campaign message to the club during the week of December 04-10th.

Elections will be held at the Annual General Meeting on December 10th.

Non-playing members are encouraged and welcome to serve on the board.

Descriptions of all Board positions can be found in the bylaws section of the club handbook.

Relevant language from the club bylaws:
4.1 Board role, size, and compensation: The Board is responsible for the overall direction and governance of the NGAC. The Board shall consist of 8 members: Chair, Vice Chair, Treasurer, Secretary, Registrar, Public Relations Officer, Games Development, and Member at Large. Any member in good standing is eligible to serve on the Board. The Board receives no compensation.

4.2 Terms: All board members serve two-year terms and are eligible for re-election.

4.6 Election of the Board: The board is elected by the NGAC membership at the Annual General Meeting. Votes shall be cast through written ballot, and simple majority of those present elect board members. The Secretary solicits nominations during a 2-week nomination period, which opens 3 weeks prior and closes 1 week prior to the Annual General Meeting.

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New Board Position Created for 2017: Games Development Officer

At the Annual General Meeting, we will elect board members to serve for two years. In addition to the vacancies, we will also add a new position: The Games Development Officer. So, what does the Games Development Officer do?

The official description goes like this:

Games Development Officer: The Games Development Officer is responsible for Gaelic Games training and competition. The GDO shall organize leagues, training programs, and work in conjunction with other committees to provide quality Gaelic games experiences. The GDO shall work towards a sustainable Gaelic games system that provides a satisfying experience for players of all ages.  The mission of the GDO is to develop quality players, quality coaches, and quality referees.

To expound on that a bit:

The GDO will not necessarily be the trainer, coach, or referee. Instead, the GDO will identify candidates and put them into place for these positions.

The GDO will assume responsibility for scheduling training, scrimmages, and any other practices. He/She will ensure that all equipment will be available (though may not be responsible for storing or carrying that equipment) and that a trainer will be present.

The GDO will continue to nurture the success of the hurling division while also developing Gaelic football and a potential youth league. Again, this officer will not necessarily be the trainer or coach (though he/she could be), but will instead coordinate efforts between interested parties.

The GDO will work with the board to ensure there is a place for practice. While Heartland Fields are usually available to use, the GDO will verify and scout additional locations if Heartland is not available for use.

This is an essential position that is crucial to the growth and health of our club. The GDO will be expected to join all board meetings, participate in board email chains, and interact with club members as a full-fledged board member.