A report below from David Cunningham on Gaelic Football starting up at the Blue Dragon Children’s Foundation with the first full training session on the 19 January preceded by some demonstration lessons .
On a balmy Monday in Hanoi, a little piece of Viet Celts, Blue Dragon and Gaelic Football history took place when the children of Blue Dragon took part in their first ever Gaelic football training session.
They came in their hordes – long fellas and little lads, lively lasses and bouncing imps – to learn this strange and glorious thing they had heard whispered about on the streets by caged songbirds and passing dumpling sellers, this phenomenon which is slowly gathering momentum in Ireland’s biggest county – Asia.
Representing the Viet Celts were Mark Horkan, Brian McNulty and David Cunningham, ably assisted by the legendary Tho and Lan of Blue Dragon. First up, a little introduction to the game, a brief mention of the competition in March, a quick geography check (‘Europe’, ‘close to England’) and then some vocab – ‘solo’, ‘pass’, ‘boun’ and ‘kih’. Then running the lines, quick handpass and follow your ball. Catch, solo, bounce,pass and run. Cross field kicks. Kicking game. Shooting practice. And finally a handpassing game to round it all off. What more could a young fella ask for of a Monday evening?
Scouts sent by the rival coaches may have felt more than the tremor of a few passing butterflies stomachs at the sight of this new crop of nimble-footed, twinkle-toed Vietnamese Gaels honing their skills. By the end of the first session there were smiles all round, excitement already about the next session, and the discovery of a small hardcore who are considering dropping the Sassanach version of kickball and going pure Gaelic, while the coaches toyed with ideas of not evening bothering to inform these players that you can bounce the ball, just going pure soloing!
March 14th here we come!
VC All-Ireland Ticket draw
Thanks to Glamorous Bob Patterson, the Irish Ambassador to Vietnam Damien Cole and two Kerry emissaries to Dublin, Shane Golden and Mark Golden who took part in the VC All Ireland ticket draw last September which raised enough money to buy a start up Gaelic Football kit for training for the Blue Dragon players.
Funds for more equipment, pitch hire and playing gear have been budgeted to come from the Viet Celts Gaelic Football Schools Fund through the DFA/GAA grant. Thanks to all for their support.
The Viet Celts