The annual Ulster GAA Cúchulainn Cup took place at the Meadowbank Sports Arena, Magherafelt on Wednesday 14th March.
The Cúchulainn Initiative aims to afford 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.
New to the programme in 2018 was the introduction of a girls’ competition, with Belfast, Banbridge, Foyle and Magherafelt the participating areas. Taking part in the boys’ competition for the first time were Antrim and Ballymoney, with Belfast and Enniskillen returning once again having been involved in previous years.
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 twenty schools with over 300 Year 11 boys and girls getting an opportunity to sample what the GAA has to offer.
In addition, “Getting to Know the GAA” presentations were delivered to participating schools which helped to promote greater understanding and respect for other cultures; a key aim of the Cúchulainn Initiative.
After a very enjoyable day of games the Belfast Cúchulainn team emerged as winners of the inaugural Girls Cúchulainn Cup, with first time participants Ballymoney Cúchulainns emerging successful in the Boys Cúchulainn Cup.
Ulster GAA President Michael Hasson thanked the schools and teachers for their enthusiasm in becoming involved and thanked the players for the great spirit in which the games were played, commenting “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.”