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.
The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC), a co-ed Irish sports organization, is pleased to announce that the organization will tour four metro area parks during the month of August. The park tour is intended to bring awareness to the Irish sports of hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football.
Hurling, camogie, and Gaelic football are fast-paced, high-scoring field games. These sports, in addition to handball, are considered the national sports of Ireland, where they are predominantly played, but they’re also found in parts of the world where Irish immigrants settled. While many Americans have yet to discover these ancient games, which have been played for thousands of years, most are familiar with derivatives soccer, field hockey, and American football.
Each introductory session will take place on Thursday evenings at 6 pm. The dates and parks are as follows:
The Nashville club was founded in 2013 and has grown to include more than fifty members in a short time. Gaelic football was recently added to the club’s growing athletic offerings. It is the hope of all that anyone interested in Irish culture and unusual sports will discover the club and become a member.
Club membership is open to anyone over the age of eighteen (18), though plans for a youth organization are forthcoming. 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. Express your interest on the Facebook event pages linked above.
This Saturday (April 2nd) Opening Ceremonies will begin at 9:30 with the first match starting at 10am sharp. Representatives from competing clubs will meet at 9am.
Heartland Fields – 3135 Heartland Dr, Nashville, TN 37214
No alcohol or dogs allowed at the park. There are nearby porta potties at the park.Food and beverages will be available for purchase on site.
9’s Round Robin Hurling Tournament and Camogie 13’s (best of 3) match. The Hurling tournament will end with a championship match.***A reminder, teams not playing in matches will be responsible for refereeing as well as line and goal judging.
We will be having our post tournament celebration and trophy ceremony at The Harp and Fiddle – 1538 Demonbreun St, Nashville, TN 37203
The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) will host the 2nd Annual Music City Invitational Irish sports tournament on April 2, 2016. Teams from the Midwest and Southeast will compete in hurling and camogie for a shot at the trophy. The tournament will take place between 9 am and 4 pm at Heartland Fields in Donelson, and the general public is invited to watch.
Hurling, a fast-paced, high-scoring field game, is the national sport of Ireland, where it is predominantly played, but is also found in parts of the world where Irish immigrants settled. Camogie is the game for women, with slightly adapted rules. While many Americans have yet to discover the ancient game, which has been played for over three thousand years, most are familiar with derivatives hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and even golf.
Nashville GAC will welcome players from Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Knoxville, TN; St. Louis, MO; Indianapolis, IN; New Orleans, LA; Akron, OH; Raleigh, NC. The teams will play at least three matches each throughout the day, with winners playing four or more. Food and drink will be available for sale at the fields, as well as commemorative items, including T-shirts and pint glasses with the Nashville team crest.
The day will begin with performances of the American and Irish National Anthems, words from our founder John Watson, and music from bagpipers. A celebration, trophy presentation, and social gathering for teams and fans will take place at 7 pm that evening.
NASHVILLE, TN – The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC), a co-ed Irish sports organization, will be very present and visible at this year’s Music City Irish Fest. The Irish Fest will take place from 11 am to 11 pm on March 12, 2016, on Demonbreun Hill in Downtown Nashville. During last year’s inaugural festival, the Nashville GAC volunteered in a beer tent and met many of the revelers. This year, the Irish sports and culture organization will occupy their own booth, in addition to their beer-serving responsibilities.
The Nashville GAC booth will feature video highlights of Irish teams and the Nashville club in action. Friendly and enthusiastic members will be available to demonstrate some of the easier skills and answer any questions visitors may have. Festival attendees are also welcome to stop any of the club members throughout the day to discuss the games. Members may be recognized by their bright jerseys in the club colors of gold and green.
Hurling, a fast-paced, high-scoring field game, is the national sport of Ireland, where it is predominantly played, but is also found in parts of the world where Irish immigrants settled. While many Americans have yet to discover the ancient game, which has been played for nearly three thousand years, most are familiar with derivatives hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and even golf. The Nashville club was founded in 2013 and has grown to include more than fifty members in a short time. It is the hope of all that anyone interested in Irish culture and usual sports will discover the club and become a member.
Club membership is open to anyone over the age of eighteen (18), though plans for a youth organization are forthcoming. Men and women combine for city league play. During travel tournaments, the men and women split to play hurling and camogie. More information can be found on the Nashville GAC website at http://nashvillegac.com.
The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) held the Annual General Meeting on December 19, 2015, during which elections were held for new board members who will serve in the coming year. The open positions included Chairman, Secretary, and Treasurer. Outgoing Chairman, John Watson, served for more than two years after founding the club in Nashville and saw the club grow from four in the first several months to a roster of over forty members in good standing.
The Nashville GAC board members for 2015 also included Timothy Ryan Buckley as Vice Chairman, Liam Barry as Registrar, Molly Bombardi-Mount as Secretary, Brendan Reynolds as Treasurer, Jennifer Barry as Public Relations Officer, and Aaron Joley as Member at Large. After the vote, appointments were necessary to fill newly vacant positions.
The new board for the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Association in 2016 is now as follows: Timothy Ryan Buckley, elected Chairman; Liam Barry, appointed Vice Chairman; Molly Buckley, appointed Registrar; Molly Bombardi-Mount, elected Secretary; Rayne Leonard, elected Treasurer; Jennifer Barry, remaining Public Relations Officer; and Aaron Joley, remaining Member at Large.
Several committees were also formed as a result of the Annual General Meeting, with appointed chairs agreeing to serve. Christopher Davis and Rayne Leonard will lead the recruitment and retention committee. Megan Scott will serve as head of fundraising and sponsorship. David Smith and Ashley Raby will continue directing the social committee. Perhaps the most difficult of committees, the events committee, will be led by Brendan Rauer. The events committee will oversee the Nashville GAC invitational tournament, participation in the Second Annual Irish Fest, and participation in the Second Annual Highland Games.
Last Monday, September 14, 2015, the Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club sat down to lunch with several special guests from Ireland, including the Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport, Paschal Donohoe. Other esteemed guests present included the CEO of Tourism Ireland, Niall Gibbons, and Consul General for the Southeast Shane Stephens.
Our lunch was provided by Quinn O’Sullivan, owner of Dan McGuiness Irish Pub. As we dined on southern favorites like fried chicken, mashed potatoes, creamed corn, and green beans, Mr. Donahoe asked the club about our plans to help grow the GAA in the United States, and particularly in the Southeast. We had an unprecedented chance to give our thoughts and help work toward greater support from the Irish sports organization.
After lunch, we presented Mr. Donohoe with his own Nashville GAC jersey, which he wore with pride for several photographs. Check out all the pictures below.
The story didn’t end there. That same evening, three delegates from the hurling club were invited to a Tourism Ireland cocktail party at the Hermitage Hotel. John Watson, Liam Barry, and Jennifer Barry rubbed elbows with business owners who have distinct Irish connections while watching the world-famous Willis Clan sing and dance.
It was a great day for hurling in Nashville, for growing Irish culture and sports in the United States, and for drinking whiskey with some pretty important Irish people. We’re still on cloud nine.
The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) will join the Middle Tennessee Highland Games and Celtic Festival on September 12, 2015. The games, which will be held at The Hermitage, include our own Irish hurling, stone put, caber toss, sheaf toss, and hammer throw. Nearly 5,000 athletes and spectators are expected to attend.
Hurling, a fast-paced, high-scoring field game, is the national sport of Ireland, where it is predominantly played, but is also found in parts of the world where Irish immigrants settled. The game is not entirely unfamiliar to Scotland and her descendants, who may know a similar competition called shinty. While many Americans have yet to discover the ancient game, which has been played for over three thousand years, most are familiar with derivatives hockey, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, and even golf.
Nashville GAC will conduct several skills clinics throughout the day. All are welcome to learn the basics of the game, regardless of experience and even athletic ability. The focus of these clinics is to demonstrate the history and skill of the game while instilling a deep appreciation of Celtic culture within Nashville area residents. At 1:00 pm, the club will split into two teams and play a high-energy exhibition match.
The day will include so much more than highland games, too. Enjoy the Parade of Tartans, a various pipes and drum bands, highland dancers, and even a “bonniest knees” competition. More information can be found on the Highland Games website at http://www.midtenngames.com. Club members who are interested in participating in the skills clinics and exhibition matches should contact Corbett Ouellette as soon as possible.
NASHVILLE, TN The Nashville Gaelic Athletic Club (Nashville GAC) will kick off the fall hurling league Sunday, September 7 at Heartland Soccer Complex in Donelson. This new season comes on the heels of the club’s inaugural city league summer play. Three teams played competitive matches for the duration of the six-week season, culminating in Nashville’s first hurling championship on August 3.
Founder John Watson says, “The autumn league will be similar to the summer league (hopefully without the punishing heat) with 3 teams facing off in 7-a-side matches each Sunday. The summer saw some incredible games as the Ports, the Leesiders, and the Blue Notes battled over 6 weeks. In the end, it was the Ports and the Blue Notes who earned the chance to claim the first league championship and take home the Iron Hurl.” The Iron Hurl is actually a solid steel, full-sized replica of a hurley, crafted by club member Caleb Harper. Watson continues with, “On that day, the Ports took the prize, but the real prize went to all of the men and women who showed up week in and week out to play the ancient game right here in Nashville.”
The fall league is currently open to any in the area who wish to join. The club hosts introductory sessions on Thursday evenings at Centennial Park. Nashville GAC also welcomes spectators to the league games on Sundays at noon. To those considering the ancient Irish sport, Watson challenges, “Who will raise to trophy this November? Will you be among those who take to the pitch and play the fastest game on grass? There’s only one way to find out!”
The Nashville GAC also recently completed a successful crowdfunding campaign, which enabled the purchase of travel jerseys for summer tournament play. These shirts feature the club crest and the words “Baile Ceol,” which mean Music City in Gaelic Irish. There is currently no sponsor featured on the jerseys. Businesses interested in sponsoring should contact the club to discuss the potential benefits.
PorterBriggs.com, the Voice of the South, just featured the Nashville GAC in their latest online magazine. You can read about our roots and learn where we’re going, or just stop by to thank them for giving us some really good press.
If you’ve been out lately, you know we’re growing at an exciting rate. When Lisa interviewed us for this article, we hadn’t even launched our city league! Now, we’re four weeks in and seeing some exciting play from everyone in the club. Let’s keep sharing with everyone we meet, especially when we get some attention like this from PorterBriggs.com.
Baile Ceol Abù!