Gaelic games are national sports played in Ireland which have two main games such as the Gaelic football and hurling. Gaelic games are being governed by Irish Gaelic Athletic Association (GAA). These games are the most popular sports ever played in Ireland as it always attract massive attendance.
Because of the love of Irish people in Gaelic sports, they took these games with them whenever they travel around the world so that they can feel home whenever nostalgia strikes. Their passion influenced people from all nationalities and that they ended up embracing these kinds of sports.
Gaelic Athletic Association became prominent around the world. It has links from UK to United States and in Asia as well. It has been played by Asians from different Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, South Korea, and Japan coining up the term Asian Gaelic Games.
This year, the 22nd Asian Gaelic Games was held in Bangkok, Thailand on 18-19 November 2017 which featured 65 teams representing 20 clubs from across 18 countries in Asia and accommodated 700 athletes. It was sponsored by FEXCO which is Ireland’s largest owned financial technology company in the private sector.
It was in 2007 that the ThaiGAA was established by John Campbell when he spent 2006 in Taipei and found himself playing with the Taiwan Celts Gaelic football team. When he returned to Thailand, he worked with Derek Martin, Padraic Ellicott and Ultan Peters and in 2007, ThaiGAA was able to send their representatives to participate in the 2007 Asian Gaelic Games held in Singapore. The ThaiGAA had a very remarkable competitive start.
As of the recent recording, ThaiGAA fields a total of five teams which include one team for ladies football, two for men’s football and a team for men’s hurling team. There is an upsurge in interest for participating in ThaiGAA and it was influenced by the success of the ladies’ team.
The club is continuously growing and caters new members every week which marks their increasing number. Their goal is to involve more players in the younger age groups as there are some international schools that play Gaelic games.
ThaiGAA had a notable participation during the recently held 22nd Asian Gaelic Games on 18-19 November 2017 sponsored by FEXCO. Aside from the fact that it was the second time they hosted in the event, they introduced an all Thai team for the first time in ThaiGAA’s history.
This team were trained accordingly by Kevin MacHugh and Niall Geraghty and showed them the skills that they needed in order to be a competitive team. The all Bangkok born men’s football team members were thrilled by the experience.
They had a very good initial game play and enjoyed the sports and the camaraderie that came with it. The all Thai team is in continuous training in preparation for other upcoming Gaelic sports events in the Asian Region.
The ThaiGAA established an all Thai men’s team because they find it a good opportunity to develop Gaelic games not only in Thailand and but also across Asia. This is to show all Asians that even Gaelic games are Irish in nature, it has become a world class sports played in different parts of the world and that everyone is welcome to engage.