The European Board will play the final round of their European Hurling & Camogie Championships in Semple Stadium, Thurles on Saturday, July 14th.
Teams from Switzerland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Belgium and Spain amongst others will compete over the course of the day to become the 2012 European Championships.
Paris Gaels currently lead the way in the European camogie championship but according to ECB camogie officer, Fiona Byrne, "they will come under severe pressure from holders, Belgium, new entrants Holland Ladies and resurgent Luxembourg and Zurich teams".
The games will be held in various venues around Thurles with finals scheduled for Semple Stadium that evening. The event will see more than 200 players and supporters from across Europe and in Ireland descend on Thurles for the weekend. .
This year the European Board has 51 clubs playing Gaelic games across 18 countries outside of Ireland & the UK with an ever increasing number of youth developments.
"Whilst many of the of the players in Thurles will be Irish expatriates, a large percentage will be indigenous players from cities such as Zurich, the current European hurling champions who were founded by, and feature, many Swiss nationals on their teams. They will face a stiff challenge from teams based in The Hague, Paris and Brussels amongst others," according to ECB Hurling Officer, Brian Sheehy.
European Board chairman, William Cashin said:
"The European Board is delighted to bring our finals to the spiritual home of hurling in Thurles. It is particularly appropriate that the European hurling and camogie finals will be played in the European Town of Sport this year and that our clubs will battle it out with the best teams having the honour to play in the iconic Semple Stadium".
This is also the first year of an official partnership between the European Board and O’Neills who are the official equipment partners of the European finals this year.
"The European Board is proud to have partnered with O’Neills, who are themselves an institution, in meeting the equipment needs of Gaelic games players and supporters around the world," according to Cashin.