Banbridge lads secure Cúchulainn Cup win

Players from Banbridge High School, Newbridge Integrated College and St Patricks Banbridge join together to celebrate Banbridge C�chulainns victory in the C�chulainn Cup Blitz 2017. Pic by John Merry
Players from Banbridge High School, Newbridge Integrated College and St Patricks Banbridge join together to celebrate Banbridge C�chulainns victory in the C�chulainn Cup Blitz 2017. Pic by John Merry

A group of young sportsmen from three schools in the Banbridge area have come together to capture the Ulster GAA Cúchulainn Cup 2017.

The Banbridge Cúchulainns came out on top in the annual cross-community tournament, which took place at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt on Wednesday, March 15.

The Cúchulainn Cup gives young people from different backgrounds the opportunity to engage with one another, and to educate people not traditionally involved with the GAA more about the Association.

Taking part in this year’s competition were Magherafelt Cúchulainns, Banbridge Cúchulainns, Ballymena Cúchulainns and Dungannon Cúchulainns. Teams comprised of several schools from each town coming together to play Gaelic games in a cross-community team.

In preparation for the Cúchulainn Cup Blitz schools were given ‘GAA Taster Sessions’ in which pupils who had never played Gaelic games, or had very little interaction in the Games, were taught the basic skills of Gaelic football and hurling.

Taster sessions were provided in 11 schools, with over 200 pupils getting an opportunity to sample what the GAA has to offer.

In addition ‘Getting to Know the GAA’ presentations were delivered to seven of the participating schools, which helped to promote greater understanding and respect for other cultures - a key aim of the Cúchulainn Cup programme.

After a very enjoyable day of hurling and Gaelic football, the Banbridge Cúchulainn team emerged as winners.

Ulster GAA Vice Chairperson Oliver Galligan praised the schools and teachers for getting involved, and thanked the players for the great spirit in which the games were played.

“The Cúchulainn Cup continues to be a very worthwhile project, as evidenced by the many happy faces, skill and great interaction between teams seen at this year’s Cúchulainn Cup Blitz,” he said.

Mr Galligan appealed to more young people to get involved in sport, whether through playing or volunteering.