Twinning Initiative - A Roaring Success
The Twinning Clubs Initiative, which was organised in conjunction with the 2023 FRS Recruitment GAA World Games, took place on Tuesday 25th July across over 40 Derry GAA, LGFA and Camogie clubs.
All 93 teams, who have been in Derry participating in the GAA World Games, were transported after their day of games to every club in the county for a social and cultural evening, involving non-competitive games, entertainment, refreshments, and an opportunity to network and form relationships.
The players who were hosted hail from countries scattered throughout the globe, including St Louis Camogie team, who were twinned with Castledawson, Argentina who had Culmore as their partners and Cairde Khemar Cambodia, who ventured out to Swatragh.
The initiative was designed with the intention of giving teams a break from competitive action, as well as the opportunity to experience first-hand how GAA clubs, both Irish and international, operate and work collectively, so that learnings may be taken from both sides and mutually beneficial relationships forged.
The feedback collected has been extremely positive from both sides, and huge credit is due to the clubs of Derry for investing themselves into this initiative and ensuring it ran smoothly and that visiting teams were welcomed with a warm embrace.
Teams with similar primary codes were paired where possible, but the overall aim of the project was to open dialogue, facilitate discussion and pave the way for the creation of an event from which everyone could reap the benefits.
With the county blanketed in warm evening sunshine, local communities from Doire Trasna to Lavey, Steelstown to Dungiven, and Glen to Magherafelt came out in force to welcome their international visitors, and there was a tangible air of positivity and a feel-good factor throughout the Oakleaf County.
Underage exhibition matches, local musical and dancing talent, barbecues and plenty of teas and coffees were the order of the day with each club doing themselves and their communities proud and showcasing the very best of their hospitality.
An event and an evening that will live long in the memory of the people of Derry and their international visitors.