November 27, 2022

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Rockland County celebrates 50th anniversary of hurling field and ancient Irish sport’s time-honored tradition

NEW YORK — This weekend, Rockland County is celebrating the 50th anniversary of a athletics area. The story of its generation and what it indicates to the group is the aim of this week’s Snapshot New York with Steve Overmyer. 

The rural discipline is entire of an bacterial infections sound: laughing small children actively playing a person of the oldest sports in the globe. It can be identified as hurling. 

“It really is additional like ice hockey than anything. Seeking to explain it, it is really the speediest area sport in the earth,” claimed Rockland GAA Hurling Coach Mark Comeford. 

Hurling is just not a activity that is known nationally, but it has taken this local community by storm. 

“It’s been said hurling is a ferocious ballet on grass. Is that correct?” Overmyer asked. 

“If you inquire the people that perform it, they will say not, it’s just 1 of them issues. It can be pretty expert. They have received a fantastic enthusiasm for it,” mentioned Paul Levins from Rockland GAA. 

The ball is referred to as a sliotar. It is equivalent to a baseball, but players will have to use a flat adhere called a hurley to carry and hit it by means of aim pasts. 

At any age, it is performed with spirited velocity. 

It can be extremely hard to trace the beginnings of hurling. It essentially pre-dates published background in Ireland. It’s even the middle of some of the most popular Irish myths. 

“There is something special about remaining capable to use sport to connect us to our traditions, to our historical past,” Overmyer said. 

“Certainly our heritage. They have been taught by their fathers and their fathers have been taught by their fathers. So to be ready to pass that down to youngsters in a facility like this … which is superb as effectively,” Levins reported. 

The sport is so critical right here that 50 a long time ago locals arrived together to buy the land and build a industry. But one small dilemma:

“We did not have the dollars in our account,” Joe McGirl reported. “The only way they could secure a mortgage was if individuals basically place up collateral. So 20 people place their possess personal residences up as collateral.” 

The founding customers thought in the benefit of the area so significantly they guess their mortgages on it. 

“We have a great passion tor Gaelic video games and indeed our general tradition,” claimed McGirl.

Fundraising in the neighborhood has permitted them to shell out back the financial loan and even have more than enough to let every boy or girl to join for free. For 50 decades, young children have performed below, discovering an ancient sport and embracing Irish culture. 

“This field, in a way, is a bridge to Ireland, just isn’t is?” Overmyer mentioned. 

“It genuinely is. It can be one thing that you’re offering again to your young children,” Levins said. “They’re ready to see their grandchildren perform and probably their wonderful grandchildren. There is a good deal of background here.” 

“You know, the a single matter we discover about the sports, it is really good for the young ones for meeting other young children. It truly is a bonding point and it is wonderful for socializing below way too,” mentioned Comeford. 

“What do you hope they get out of it?” Overmyer requested. 

“Friendship. That’s the main point, that they make pals for existence,” Comeford explained. 

“It can be fun, due to the fact it truly is so rapid. It is really a quickly activity. It’s so enjoyment. And appropriate soon after sometimes the coaches carry you for ice product!” some of the children mentioned. 

“Is there a greater sound than giggling, laughing children?” Overmyer questioned Levins. 

“Absolutely. There’s not doubt about that. It really is great. Whatsoever goes on in your working day, busy at perform and anything else, the moment you get out of the automobile in this article, regardless of what transpired the earlier 10 hrs is all overlooked about,” Levins reported. 

“When you can search all-around right here and you see the constructive electrical power that is close to listed here, people just want to climb aboard,” McGirl reported. “It places a smile on our encounter and individuals that has committed hundreds of dollars, and we check with them what do they want in return? And they often say whenever we drive by there and we look in and we see little ones participating in with smiles on their faces, that is the payment we are receiving in return. There’s no greenback value you could get. Which is all we want.” 

Rockland County is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the industry with a weekend-very long slate of online games setting up Friday.