Rathpeacon welcome one and all for National Inclusion Fitness Day
By John Harrington
Rathpeacon GAA club in Cork are hoping to bring their whole community together for the GAA’s inaugural National Inclusive Fitness Day tomorrow by hosting a long puck competition.
It doesn’t matter if you’d struggle to know one end of a hurley from the other, Rathpeacon are welcoming one and all for a day of community fun.
“We wanted to put on something that would be relatively easy to organise that everybody could have a go at,” Rathpeacon club secretary Eamonn Hawe told GAA.ie
“We'll have competitions for people who never swung a hurley before and every age-group you can think of from U-5s to over 70s.
“We've also reached out to Rebel Wheelers who do wheelchair hurling and we're hoping that they will take part as well.
“We're a small club, one of the smallest clubs in the country. But we're hoping that we can get a few people into the club who wouldn't normally come into it and see how it goes.”
Making the most of what they have is something that comes naturally to Rathpeacon GAA club.
Based on the outskirts of Cork City, they’re a small club who are always looking for new members to join.
“The club grounds is about a mile from Blackpool if you know Cork, but the catchment area is a rural area,” says Hawe.
“We're have a couple of small housing estates, but it's more or less farmland so we're have a small population demographic. It's basically a rural club right on the edge of the city and our numbers would be small.
"It's actually a unique enough situation because there are four clubs in the one parish. Blarney, Whitechurch, Gleann Na Laoi, and Rathpeacon. There aren't too many places like that.
“Blarney are in a Premier Intermediate Hurling Final shortly, Whitechurch won a football championship at the weekend, and ourselves and Gleann Na Laoi are doing our bit as well.
“Our footballers won a Junior C Championship last year and they won a League and Cup the year before.”
The core message of GAA National Inclusive Fitness Day is that there is a home for everyone in their local GAA club regardless of age, sexual orientation, ability, ethnicity, nationality, or fitness level.
Rathpeacon have always been a welcoming GAA club, and Hawe hopes that Wednesday’s event will help them showcase that to people in the area who have never visited the clubgrounds before.
“We just want everybody in our area to come out and have some fun together. One demographic that we've always struggled to bring into the fold is the Eastern European community living in our area he says.
“You see a good few people with an African or Asian background getting involved across the board and that's great, but we rarely see people of an Eastern European background involved.
“We have a couple now who have enquired already for this event which is a first for us and great to see.
“We've been pestering them long enough that we'd love to make Gaelic Footballers and hurlers out of them, so hopefully we can get them up to the pitch on Wednesday and that will start something.”