Playing for Life recruits top players for trip to Ethiopia
Sept. 28 2011
Today, ‘Playing for Life’, a GAA official charity for 2011, announced the launch of its next project in Ethiopia along with a top line up of supporting GAA players.
Former players including Manus Boyle (Donegal), Brian Whelahan (Offaly), John Lynch (Tyrone) and a number of other current players including Clare’s Darach Honan and John Conlon, Limerick’s Gavin O’Mahony and Graeme Mulcahy, Meath’s Jamie Queeney and Michael Burke and Tipperary’s Shane McGrath will be travelling to Ethiopia with the charity in January 2012 to help build a community sport facility and to teach Gaelic games to the local Ethiopian community.
GAA sports stars, past and present, turned out to show their support for the charity. Dublin’s Eamonn Fennell, Niall Corcoran and Barney Rock attended the launch along with Limerick’s Gavin O’ Mahony and Kilkenny hurler Tommy Walsh. RTE’s Mary Kennedy lent her support and applauded the charity’s ongoing work in Africa.
Having been selected as an official GAA Charity for 2011, Playing for Life’s Ethiopia Trip will take the opportunity to bring Irish and Ethiopian communities together. While the two countries may seem worlds apart, there is an uncanny similarity – a passion for hurling! In Ethiopia, a similar game is played with a wooden hurl-like stick and a ball, called ‘Karsa’. The Irish GAA players and the Ethiopian Karsa team will challenge each other to what is bound to be a thrilling hurling match on Ethiopian soil.
'Playing for Life' was established by RTÉ Sports Presenter, Tracy Piggott, who has worked in Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi since 2005. The charity’s work focuses on self-development by providing education facilities, skills training and HIV/Aids awareness through sport.
Tracy Piggott, founder of ‘Playing for Life’, commented: “As a team, we are extremely honoured, proud and pleased to have been named as an official GAA charity. Over the years, we have had tremendous support from the GAA community throughout the country. On both a national and international level, Playing for Life’s success is a tribute to the support and sponsorship it receives, we are so thankful to the GAA for providing us with a platform this year to ensure that this success continues.”
Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael Criostóir Ó Cuana lauded the work undertaken by the Association’s newest official charity and wished it every success in its on-going endeavours. “It’s worth noting the plans that Playing for Life has for the remainder of 2011 are most worthwhile and I hope we can support them in a tangible way with this excellent work. I am also pleased to see so many GAA faces involved – both past and present players among them. The efforts of Playing for Life help to benefit and improve the fortunes and quality of life for many people in Africa that are not as fortunate as Irish people.”
Henry Shefflin, Kilkenny and Playing for Life Ambassador, commented: “We all see these awful sights of the third world on our televisions, we can change the channels at home but when you sit two feet away from a child dying of HIV, you can’t get that picture out of your head.”
Interested in joining some of Ireland’s top GAA Heroes, both past and present, on this charity trip of a life time? Log onto www.playingforlife.ie or email firstname.lastname@example.org.