The Bus Éireann Féile na nGael and Féile na nÓg tournaments were launched in Croke Park today with the Presidents of each of the GAA’s family of games. Féile is unique in that all of the GAA sports are represented, with exhibitions of GAA Rounders taking place this year alongside the traditional hurling, camogie, boys and girls football and handball.
The Bus Éireann Féile na nGael tournament will be hosted on a provincial basis by Ulster, beginning on Friday, June 20 and concluding on Sunday June 22, while Féile na nÓg is hosted by Connacht from Friday June 27 to Sunday, June 29. The GAA’s aim of increasing participation while maximising playing standards is to the fore in Féile, where almost 500 clubs, 1,500 coaches and 12,000 boys and girls will participate across each of the two weekends.
GAA President Liam Ó Neill said: “This year Féile will operate on national, regional and provincial levels as part of what is a hugely important competition for the GAA and especially for those with a special interest in underage activity. Given the massive importance attached to our underage activity the new format for Féile is one we should welcome offering as it does more young footballers with the opportunity to participate in a weekend of fun and action that the players will cherish for many years to come.”
Liam continued: “Sometimes we apply adult values to children’s activities and this inevitably leads to the development of a win at all costs mentality. Such an approach does not lend itself to wholesale inclusive involvement and pressure can be brought to bear on young budding footballers that detract from their enjoyment.
I am pleased that the new competition structures have the potential to address these pressures and in the process bring the Féile competition to more clubs and crucially more young players.”
The logistical undertaking involved in organising a competition as large as this to the high standards set and reached year in, year out, should never be underestimated and the success of Féile each year can be attributed in no small part to the host clubs and local organising committees in both Connacht and Ulster.
Bus Éireann Chief Executive Officer Martin Nolan said: “Bus Éireann is at the heart of communities throughout the country and we have always supported local sporting and community events. This is a sponsorship we are very happy to support as we believe it is an excellent showcase of the energy and commitment of local communities across the island of Ireland. This is our third year sponsoring Féile and we believe it is a fantastic example to young people in demonstrating teamwork, pride in representing your local community, and how to enjoy playing sport in a fun and respectful way.”
For more information on Féile, visit the dedicated website – www.gaa.ie/feile