How to set up a GAA club in Europe in 20 simple steps

If you have the desire to setup a club, its not actually that difficult. Reading 100 page PDFs on guides and rules or regulations may not help though, especially in the early days!

So, where should you start. Well we thought it would help to put it into 20 straight forward and helpful (hopefully!) steps.

GAA-football-and-hurlSo lets go!:

  1. Decide on a Club Name
  2. Find a suitable pitch. Due to the need for uprights on the goals, Rugby clubs are usually a great place to start. Irelands love of Rugby coupled with the attitude of respect, community and physical requirements of the games make them a great fit and they compliment each other in various other ways with cross sharing of players and being able to combine events. Then set a date and time for training. Paying for things is usually the hard part in this. to begin with, most people will be happy to chip in a few euros for an hour or two of training. Until you are happy that it will workout this is the only real way forward (unless you get a REALLY generous rugby club who let you use facilities for free…for a while!)
  3. Contact the development officer asap – — the officer will be able to help!
  4. Contact your nearest GAA club for support (it could be in another country, but dont let that stop you!)
  5. Review the rules of the game (they can change every year!) to make sure you are up to date. This video is a good refresher but its out of date already! -
  6. To begin with you can use a normal football but they are light and not the proper ball for the game. If you have a club not to far away then you may get a loan of a few “Size 5” Gaa footballs to get you started.
  7. Use social media, mainly Facebook (create a PAGE for your club!), and local newspapers to your advantage. Its a cheap and effective way to spread the word. Gathering local newspapers email addresses is simple and they will be happy to include sports and cultural material regularly, so long as you send it!
  8. If you have a rugby club pitch then its a great start, if not, you can jerry rig uprights to a set of Soccer goals with 10 foot of guttering combined with 10 foot of white tubing. The gutting can “wrap” around the goal posts with cheap tape to hold them in position. This is in no way ideal but its relatively inexpensive (approximately 50 euros) but difficult to transport! Otherwise, it has been know to stick to floor brushes on there and go with it!
  9. Get to training….(remember the GAA includes both men and ladies, juvenile and kids! Start a team!)
  10. Practice the basics, run the drills. Do them again. STOP. Discuss the drill and tactic. Run them again. STOP. Change the drills and tactics. Make it FUN! (some great ideas on drills can be found here.)
  11. Play a match, but make it FUN!
  12. The GAA is more than a game, its a community and it takes time for this to grow (remember there is hurling, handball, rounders and camogie as well!)
  13. Once you are established then its time to deal with the administration side. This is important to the foundation of the club, will make it offical and will give the club a solid basis. Yes, it can be boring, but do not underestimate its importance!
  14. Checkout the Europe GAA website and specifically the documents page.
  15. The ECB is the governing body for the GAA in Europe and will be happy to help you!
  16. Fill in this form – Register the club.
  17. The next step – Affiliation application
  18. The final step – Grant application
  19. From there you will gain access to Servasport and then get your offical GAA email accounts for your club. (These are REALLY important and will allow you to communicate with all the clubs and officers easily as well as make your club eligible to join in tournaments, cups or leagues.
  20. Join your local league or tournament and win it, but most of all, have fun!

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