Rennes GAA extend the hand of friendship to refugees
By John Harrington
The first line of the GAA Official Guide declares that the Association’s aim is “to offer an inclusive, diverse, and welcoming environment for everyone.”
Those words were brought to life by Rennes GAA club in France over the weekend when they hosted an introduction GAA session for youths from under-privileged and refugee backgrounds.
The project was organised by 15 sports science (Staps) students who teamed up with the Breizh Insertion Sports Association to reach out to vulnerable and under privileged youth in the city.
“Within the club of Rennes, Mayo man Niall Murphy is an English teacher and has trained up Staps students in the past, so our club is already established in the university,” explains Rennes GAA club stalwart and Gaelic Games Europe Vice-Chairperson, Anna Marie O’Rourke, of how the event came about.
“On Saturday we had 24 youths ranging from refugee backgrounds to socially deprived backgrounds who were offered the opportunity to discover Gaelic football.
“The club of Rennes chairperson Martial Chesnais organised the days events and myself and other members of the club did an initiation of Gaelic Football with them.
“We also chatted about the history and culture of Gaelic Games and why our sports are so important to us. It was a really outstanding day and the group loved it.”
This is just the latest of many initiatives by Rennes GAA to make their community a more welcoming one and to spread their love of Gaelic Games.
As they say in France, chapeau!