The Inaugural MEGAA Juvenile Tournament
February 15, 2023
Saturday, February 4th 2023 marked an historic day for Middle East GAA, with the Board staging its first official juvenile tournament. Over 200 kids from across the Middle East gathered at Sharjah Wanderers sports club to participate in Gaelic football, hurling and camogie games of the highest quality. Teams from Dubai Eire Óg, Abu Dhabi Na Fianna, RAK Ropairí, Arabian Celts, Naomh Alee Riyadh, and Qatar GAA competed at U-6, U-8, U-11, and U-15 age groups in what was a day full of skill, determination, fun and no end of laughter.
The day started at 10am with player registration followed by a parade of all the participants, evoking images from home of the historic Féile na Peile which many of the parents and coaches in attendance had themselves played in some years ago! Four pitches were in action throughout the day as the U-8 and U-11 hurling and camogie kicked things off, followed closely by the football action on all four pitches. The under 6s and under 8s served up a host of games full of skill and determination. They all participated with a smile on their faces, and they even found time to stay active on the large bouncy castles between matches.
In the U-11 and U-15 football age groups, there was silverware up for grabs and the games were suitably competitive. Four teams in each age group battled it out in a “round robin” series of games to determine the finalists. In the U-11 division, Abu Dhabi Na Fianna (with a little help from two RAK Ropairí players) narrowly defeated Dubai Eire Óg in a thrilling final. The U-15 final pitted Qatar GAA against Dubai Eire Óg, in a game laden with brilliant attacking and high intensity football. On the day, it was the team from Doha that came out on top by a single score.
Once the games were finished, the players and coaches enjoyed some well-earned food and ice-cream treats, followed by a presentation of medals and trophies on the main stage. As the sun started to set upon Sharjah, everyone enjoyed the live Irish music and had the chance to take a breath and reminisce on what was a truly spectacular day of juvenile Gaelic Games.
Middle East GAA wish to thank the members of the County Board (particularly the Juvenile Development Officer Robbie Corcoran), the clubs across the region, the children and their families for their support and participation on a day that will be remembered for many years to come. We are excited to see the children’s skills and passion for Gaelic games continue to grow.
The photo gallery will be updated over the coming days with a selection of images from the tournament. Watch this space!