Na Fianna Katarokwi club home to growing interest in Irish sports

Click to play video: 'Na Fianna Katarokwi gives Kingston region a look at Irish sports  Gaelic football and Hurling'
Na Fianna Katarokwi gives Kingston region a look at Irish sports Gaelic football and Hurling
The Kingston club offers programs for children through to adults – May 21, 2023

Gaelic football and hurling aren’t sports that most Canadians would be familiar with.

Both are sports native to Ireland.

Kingston club Na Fianna Katarokwi features both hurling and Gaelic football and the club is a member of the Canadian Gaelic Athletic Association.

Alan Mangan Na Fianna Katarokwi’s secretary says Gaelic football has aspects that a similar to other sports Canadians are familiar with.

“Elements of soccer, basketball, rugby,” said Mangan

The same can be said about Hurling.

It’s played on a field similar to a soccer pitch, a ball similar in size to baseball and a stick called a hurley is used.

“Lacrosse, baseball, field hockey, ice hockey,” said Mangan providing examples of sports that have commonalities with hurling.

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Mangan estimates there are roughly forty clubs in Canada and the nation is competing internationally in the two sports.

“Canada has four teams competing in the world GAA games right now,” said Mangan. “A lot of them are from this area, from Ottawa, Montreal and they’re all non Irish born, so these are all Canadian true and true players.”

Na Fianna Katarokwi  is open to young and old alike interested in the clubs two athletic activities.

” At the drop in sessions, we have kids as young as five and then for the seniors I think our oldest member is 55,” said Andrew Lockwood a club member.

Experience or even a great knowledge of  hurling or Gaelic football isn’t a necessity to come out to Na Fianna Katarokwi according to Lockwood.

“Regardless of your fitness, your skill level or whether you’ve even played the sports before, actually half the people that turn up to the drop in session have never picked up a hurl or kicked a football,” said Lockwood.

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A number of the clubs members, like Lockwood are serving at CFB Kingston.

Kingston’s Military Community Sports Centre supports the club allowing them to use fields and facilities like the sports dome located in the city’s east end.

Lockwood says it’s a great mix at the club that also brings the civilian and military communities together.

“What we do here at the drop in session is we have the military mixing with civilian population with their dependents, we’ve got children it’s a real mix, it’s a real club and family atmosphere,” said Lockwood.

The outdoor summer season has just gotten underway this May and the club offers fall/winter sessions as well.




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