> Youth Sport

Vietnam VAS Hanoi – The Viet Celts have been extremely active in promoting underage football in Vietnam, a major achievement for a club that was only formed in 2007. They have approached the coaching of Gaelic Football via the Schools in Hanoi and already it is being played in the VAS Hanoi, Hanoi Academy and Singapore International Hanoi schools, along with the Viet Celts youth team within the club.

Youth Gaelic Football continued at VAS Hanoi from the previous year with two training sessions a week. All of the players at VAS Hanoi are Vietnamese. On 17 March this year, VAS Hanoi were honoured by the Irish Embassy at the St Patrick’s day reception where they received medals and trophies for the VAS Cup.

In April, VAS Hanoi played the Duracelts (VC Ladies) in a fast and pulsating game which drew many interested spectators.

In May the All Vietnam Schools Cup was played between Vas Hanoi and HanoiAcademy with VAS Hanoi finishing as champions. Gaelic Football had been introduced to HanoiAcademy a few months beforehand thanks to Dave Cunningham and they provided very worthy opposition in a game which made a lot of GAA Magazines, GAA websites and newspapers in Ireland and Vietnam. The key thing to remember is that all participants were Vietnamese 15 year old boys.

In September, the new Viet Celts Youths debuted in the Hanoi 1000 Gaelic Cup tournament winning the youths/ladies competition in the game of the tournament. This was also important because it marked the setting up of a club youth structure to complement the schools structure.

Dubai Junior Celts

The Junior Celts were founded in 1996 by Paul McCabe who was also a founding member of the Dubai Celts in 1995. Although the Dubai Celts were still in its infancy, and with no idea of how successful this club would later become, Paul saw the need to foster and develop this great sport amongst the younger generation, the start of the Dubai Celts Juvenile program had begun.

Training was held at the old Dubai Exiles Rugby Club grounds and comprised children whose parents wanted to foster and expose them to the culture and heritage of Ireland. Training continued there until the ground was lost to a major development project. Safa Park in Dubai became the new home to the Juvenile Section and it was from there that the first ever underage GAA tour within the Middle East was launched. In 2008, Dubai Celts sent two under age groups to Bahrain to participate in their annual competition

The Junior Training remained in Safa Park until early 2010 when Jebel Ali Primary School kindly offered there facility to the juveniles as their new home. We are fortunate to have a full sized, grassed rugby pitch to use for weekly training sessions.

Parents continued interest in all things Irish remains to this date and all the parents are delighted to be able to give their children the opportunity to experience the culture and beauty of the Irish national sports in the Middle East.

Training continues each Saturday at Jebel Ali Primary School from 4.30pm – 6.00pm during the Summer and 4.00 – 5.30 during the Winter when it is colder!!. Children are split into two groups, with the first group consisting of children ranging from 4 years old to 11 years old and the second group consisting of children from 12 years old to 16 years old. There is also a kindergarten section for the newbie’s to the sport. All groups are mixed boys and girls, with up to 12 children in each group. Currently there are no other under age teams in the UAE or the Middle East and finding competitive games can be difficult. However, the Dubai Celts Ladies have agreed to play a number of games against the older group which is designed to improve their technical and competitive skills.