Queen's University GAA students embark on tour of United States

Queen’s University is set to take over the east coast of the United States this summer as part of a series of engagements across sport, community and business. The 'Belfast Spirit, Global Goals' international sporting tour will see a delegation of QUB staff and students visit New York and Boston from June 7-17.

Led by Queen’s GAA Clubs, the tour is part of the University’s Sigerson 100 celebrations, marking 100 years of Queen’s competing in the premier intervarsity Gaelic Football competition for men. The tour also aligns with the 30-year anniversary of the foundation of the women’s Gaelic Football team.

Interim Director of Student and Campus life, Liz McLaughlin, will head up the tour and is looking forward to showcasing the University to an international audience.

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She explained: “Since 1845, Queen’s University Belfast has been a staple institution in the backdrop of Northern Ireland’s society. For almost 180 years, our world-leading research and pioneering influence has contributed to seismic change at a local, national, and global level.

"Queen’s Sport will take centre stage, as a generation of global ambassadors from our successful GAA club embark on a tour in North America. The tour represents a fantastic opportunity for the University to tell its story and will serve as a key initiative in growing our global partnerships in North America.

"We want to give our student ambassadors a truly memorable experience, while also developing opportunities for academic collaboration, alumni and civic engagement that will benefit Queen’s Sport and beyond.”

Across the tour the men’s Sigerson team will play two exhibition games against New York county in the iconic Gaelic Park in New York City, and a USA select team at the Irish Culture Centre in Boston. Coinciding with the 30-year anniversary of the foundation of the women’s Gaelic Football team is timely given the recent Athena Swan Gold Award to Queen’s for work promoting gender equality.

The women’s O’Connor Cup squad are also set to take on New York County and a Boston select team.

Captain of the O’Connor Cup squad, Brid McNally, said: “The tour provides an opportunity for us as students to connect and build relationships with people and organisations on a world stage. It promotes network development, which is vital in both our career and sporting endeavours, and a chance to sample the sights and sounds of major cities on the east coast of the USA.

“As players we’re also very excited to be given the opportunity to represent Queen’s in these iconic venues. We want to enjoy the trip but we’re competitors, so we will absolutely be doing all we can to win.”

The tour marks a significant milestone for the GAA Club. Chair of the past members association, Jack Devaney is delighted to see the spotlight shone on the success and heritage of the club.

Jack said: “Thousands of students from nationalities across the world, have worn the Queen’s GAA jerseys with distinction, from social play right through to the very highest level of intervarsity competition. We’re extremely proud of our heritage and have a rich history of hosting, competing, and winning high profile competitions across football, hurling, camogie, and handball.

"I have no doubt the international sporting tour will help shine a light on our successes.”

Staff and students will also take part in community coaching sessions with children and young people in New York and Boston, meet with alumni and business delegates in First Derivatives and Options IT and collaborate with its partner university, Northeastern University in Boston.

For more information visit: https://queenssport.com/StudentSport/GAANewYorkandBostonTour2024/

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