The countdown is on to the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games 2023, and the drive to the Oakleaf County started with yesterday’s launch of the programme of events in the host county of Derry.
The initial stages of the FRS Recruitment GAA GAA World Games will be played out at Owenbeg, Center of Excellence from July 24th to July 27th, with the finals taking place on July 28th at Celtic Park, Derry City.
This is the Fourth-ever staging of what is a major international festival and celebration of Gaelic Games participation all over the globe, and this summer features a record breaking 93 teams totaling 1,300 players coming to Derry to take part.
The unique feature of the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games is that there is competition for Irish-born (Open) and native-born (International) teams representing more than 10 regions round the world.
Derry City is being primed with flags and banners for the welcoming parade and opening ceremony on Monday 24th July. The festival is expected to bring up to 5,000 additional people into the city and county for the week.
Camogie Association President, Hilda Breslin commented: “We are looking forward greatly to welcoming all of the teams who will take part in this year’s FRS Recruitment GAA World Games. The tremendous success in both 2016 and 2019 contributed greatly to a growth in Camogie across the world – we now see Camogie played in so many new and exciting locations. It is particularly wonderful to see the huge rise in the number of native Camogie teams taking part in this year’s event.
We are very proud of our game and to see the joy that it brings to new audiences and players reinforces this pride. I know from personal experience that all the teams can expect a very warm welcome to Derry in July, this year Games promises to be very special, creating new bonds and friendships as we showcase our unique games”.
Uachtarán CLG Larry McCarthy said: “For members of the Irish Diaspora this is an opportunity to come back to Ireland thanks to their involvement in Gaelic sport. They have undoubtedly found that being part of the GAA in their new lives gives them a sense of community and pride just like that which exists in our clubs in this country.
This is also a big occasion for the new converts to Ireland’s national games who may not have been born into a GAA culture, but who have discovered football, hurling and camogie and have embraced them and love them as much as we do. Of the 1,500 players on view this week, 1,000 of them are new to Gaelic games and we extend a special céad míle fáilte to them”.
Ladies Football President, Michéal Naughton said: “We are delighted to fly the flag for Ladies Gaelic Football once again and yet another strong representation from our sport is great to see. I’m told that 79 teams were present in 2019 and that number has now risen to 93, which is a marked and impressive increase. The increasingly popularity of Gaelic Games around the world is also reflected in the fact that 60 per cent of representatives were native born in 2019 and that figure has now risen to roughly 70 per cent. What a ringing endorsement that is for our games and how they can be learned and enjoyed by people of various nationalities.
We are expecting many visitors to Derry for the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games, and I expect that they will be welcomed as warmly as we are when we travel abroad. As Irish people, we are renowned for our unique hospitality, and I extend a “céad míle fáilte” to all visiting teams and their representatives. I sincerely hope that you leave with memories to last a lifetime”.
The teams will be twinned with local clubs from across Derry GAA with the emphasis on a social and cultural exchange, and the competing teams and Derry GAA clubs will take part in a major parade that marks the start of the GAA World Games in Derry City on Monday, July 24th.
Secretary of Michael Davitt’s Swatragh, Eamonn Hasson said: “Michael Davitt’s Swatragh are delighted to be twinned with St Louis Hurling club and Cairde Camar, Cambodia. This will be a fantastic cultural opportunity for each community to showcase their passion for Gaelic Games. We look forward to welcoming the teams – some of them their first time in Ireland.”
The official jersey for the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games was launched yesterday at the launch and can now be purchased in store and online – with the team jerseys due to be released on the 24th July.
Alison Perry, Marketing Manager for O’Neills said: “O’Neills Sportswear is proud to be part of the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games launch and to continue to have the opportunity to create the playing kits for the teams in 2023. We believe that sport has the power to unite people from all over the world, and we are delighted to be able to contribute to this celebration of Gaelic games”.
There will be something for the whole family throughout the week with food vendors, a family fun zone, and exhibition games from Rounders and Handball. There will be a conference in Owenbeg with guest speakers from Croke Park and talks on the history and heritage of Derry City too. The entire week is free, and we would encourage everyone to come and enjoy the festival of international Gaelic Games.
There are now more than 500 GAA Clubs in existence outside of Ireland and this is reflected in the presence of 93 teams that are confirmed for the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games and representing clubs from across Europe, New York, USGAA, Argentina, Canada, Britain, Australasia, Asia and the Middle East.
The GAA will have dedicated social media channels covering the FRS Recruitment GAA World Games and news and events surrounding the Games can be found at: