Championship fever begins for children as Shannon Airport Munster Go Games launched
Championship excitement for almost 400 primary schoolchildren across Munster took flight today as the Shannon Airport Primary Go Games were launched.
The Go Games are an integral part of the Munster Championship season as children from across the province get to play for their respective counties at half time in all senior matches.
This year’s Go Games are being boosted by Shannon Airport, which has come on board as a title sponsor. The launch of the games took place at Shannon Airport with schoolchildren, representatives of Munster GAA, including Chairman Robert Frost, members of the airport executive and GAA stars Podge Collins, Conor Ryan, Séadna Morey and Colin Ryan of Clare and Limerick hurler Stephen Walsh.
Two games, one each for boys and girls, with eleven players per team, will take place at the break in big matches at Semple Stadium, Páirc Uí Chaoimh and other iconic venues throughout the province during what promises to be another magical summer for championship football and hurling in Munster.
The Go Games are a long standing fixture in the province, with many leading stars of the games today having made their inter-county bow in the primary school game, among them Limerick hurlers Seamus Hickey and Declan Hannon and camogie stars Niamh and Claire Mulcahy; Tipperary’s Noel McGrath and Cork’s Paudie O’Sullivan.
On the footballing side, Declan O Sullivan, who led the Kingdom to the Sam Maguire in 2006 and 2007, made his inter-county debut also in the Go Game, as did Kerry midfield duo Anthony Maher and Denis Moran.
“The emphasis in Go Games is on participation, enjoyment and developing skill,” said Robert Frost, Chairman of the Munster Council. “Children who get to play in these games get a magical experience in their ‘field of dreams’ in front of huge crowds. All you have to do is be there on the day and see the excitement in their eyes in the moments before they get to step out onto the pitch. Participation in the games creates a memory that lasts them a life-time.
“We are delighted this year to have Shannon Airport on board as a sponsor. Shannon is such an important airport for Munster, the only one with transatlantic services for example. It enables so many emigrants fly back in for matches and is also a place that creates huge excitement for children.”
Shannon Airport CEO Neil Pakey, an immediate convert to the magic on the GAA on his arrival here last year from the UK to take up his role, said that the Go Games typify the uniqueness of the GAA.
“There’s so much to admire about Irish culture but the GAA is such a stand out piece. It knits communities together and has the family and children at its core as well. The Go Games typify this. You won’t see too many sports around the world that will have children on their pitches at half time in major games playing in front of huge crowds like this.
“We jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the games when it was put to us. We make a big effort here to make Shannon as child friendly as possible through a range of initiatives. Last Christmas, for example, we flew 4,000 parents and children 15,000ft into the sky to meet Santa for free and this sponsorship is continuing in that vein.”
Joe Lyons, Chairman of Munster Cumann na mBunscol emphasised the importance of the games: “This year’s Shannon Airport Primary Go Games promise to be very exciting for all the children. Innovative ideas such as this are the lifeblood of our games.”
Joe Lyons, Chairman. Cumann na mBunscol
(086) 8113284 email@example.com
Gearóid Ó Riain, Munster GAA PRO, OCP Comhairle na Mumhan