I first learned about the sport of hurling when I did a study abroad program in Galway over the summer of 2008. As a former lacrosse player, I was drawn to the flow of the gameplay in hurling and thought it would be fun to try. Fast forward to 2016, my wife and I attended the Colorado Irish Festival the past few years and this year I saw a hurling match taking place at the festival. This made me wonder if there was a local hurling club in Denver, so I did a quick internet search, and low and behold, I discovered the Denver Gaels. I emailed the club to get the details on how to join and received a friendly reply and invitation to join. However, I chickened out on joining that year. In the following year I found the courage to push myself out of my comfort zone and give the Denver Gaels a shot.
Funny story, I almost didn’t my first year — I drove myself all the way out to the new player clinic and waited at the field until about 10 minutes past when it was supposed to start. I just about gave up and went home; but, I did a quick drive around the park and saw that the clinic was taking place on the other end of the park! Thankfully I decided to stick with it and by that afternoon, hurling had become my new favorite sport.
How Long Have You Been a Member, And Which Sport(s) Do You Play?
The 2021 season will be the start of my fourth year with the Gaels. I’ve played two full seasons, but took last year off due to covid.
I joined the Gaels to play hurling, but there’s a chance I may give football a try one of these years. I’ve mainly played midfielder, but I think I’m better suited for half-forward. I don’t think I have the endurance to be a true midfielder…
Best Memory or Favorite Thing About the Club?
The best thing about the Denver Gaels are the people. From day one, every person, rookie or veteran, has been nothing but supportive and friendly. There are a wide range of skill levels on the field and the team is great at supporting and celebrating players, especially when they give their best effort.
What are You Excited About For the Upcoming Season?
For 2021 I’m just looking forward to getting back on the field and to start training. But for every new season I look forward to seeing how I can improve my play from the year before, as well as continue to build relationships and get to know all the Gaels.
Joining the Gaels and trying hurling has had an incredibly positive impact on my life. Playing with the Gaels has brought more passion to my life and drives me to improve myself, whether it be with having a healthy lifestyle, or pushing my artistic pursuits, or simply just trying new things that are out of my comfort zone. There’s nothing more refreshing or revitalizing than working your butt off in a practice or pub league game.