ULSTER GAA’s Cúchulainn Initiative Blitz took place recently at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt, with schools and colleges from all across the province participating.
The Cúchulainn Initiative aims to afford young people from different backgrounds the opportunity to engage with one another, and to provide opportunities to young people not traditionally involved with the GAA to learn more about the Association.
Taking part in the boys’ competition were Ballymena, Cavan, Cavehill, and Downpatrick. In the girls’ competition Belfast, Coleraine, Lurgan and Strabane were all new areas for the 2023 programme.
After a very enjoyable day of games the Lurgan Cúchulainns team emerged as winners of the Girls Cúchulainn Cup for the first time, while the Cavan Cúchulainns repeated their success of 12 months ago in the Boys Cúchulainn Cup.
Ulster GAA President Ciaran McLaughlin acknowledged the schools and teachers for their enthusiasm in becoming involved, commenting:
“In preparation for the Blitz, Ulster GAA provided ‘GAA Taster Sessions’ throughout February and March in 20 schools with over 500 Year 10 and 11 boys and girls sampling the sport of GAA. I thank the schools for providing the opportunity to these children and to the Ulster GAA staff for their commitment to the programme.
“Getting to Know the GAA’ presentations were delivered to all participating schools to help promote greater understanding of other cultures and highlights how sport can be successful in helping create a shared future; a key aim of the Cúchulainn Initiative.
“Well done to Lurgan and Cavan Cúchulainns on their success today, and lastly I’d like to thank the Executive Office Central Good Relations Programme for the funding to provide these opportunities to the children”
• Belfast: Lagan College, St Joseph’s College, Wellington College
• Coleraine: North Coast Integrated College, Loreto College, Coleraine Grammar
• Lurgan: Brownlow Integrated College, St Ronan’s College, Lurgan Junior High School
• Strabane: Strabane Academy, Holy Cross College
• Ballymena: Slemish Integrated College, St Patrick’s College, Dunclug College
• Cavan: Breifne College and Royal School Cavan
• Cavehill: Hazelwood Integrated College, Mercy College
• Downpatrick: Blackwater Integrated College, De La Salle High School
The Cuchulainn Initiative is funded through the Executive Office Central Good Relations Programme.