Social Hurling League is ready to swing into action

Trevor Spillane

Reporter:

Trevor Spillane

Email:

@kilkennypeoplesport

Social Hurling League is ready to swing into action

The chance to relive past glories, or to show Croke Park what it missed out on - whatever the spur, older hurling fans have been invited to get into gear and pick up their hurleys for a social game or two.
A new sporting initiative will swing into action in Kilkenny this weekend when the Social Over-35 Hurling League starts at the Watershed.
As the name suggests, the League is designed for people who have either retired from the club game or are looking to give hurling a go.
The aim is to get people active in a fun and friendly environment without the competitive side of the GAA.
“It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while,” explained Niall Tyrrell, the organiser of the Social League.
“Soccer players have the Floodlit League, while there’s tag rugby for rugby fans but there was nothing similar for hurling. Being such a popular sport in Kilkenny I felt it would be a good idea to get going.”
Participants will have an hour’s physical activity through a modified version of hurling. Teams will be seven-a-side (smaller pitches, shorter halves and rolling subs) with matches played on the Watershed astro turf pitches.
Tyrrell tested the waters by floating the idea of a league to people who had retired from the club game, as well as to people who hadn’t played the sport in years.
“It’s a fun game which is for everybody,” he said. “People of all hurling levels will be catered for in a relaxed environment.
“Some people might have retired from the game and lost contact with team-mates it would be good way of getting them back together, while for others it’s a chance to play a game they love watching.”
While playing sport is the idea behind the League, the real goal is to encourage people to get up and get moving.
“It’s all about getting people active and having a bit of fun,” Tyrrell said. “Wellbeing is such an important term these - it’s important to look after yourself - and with mental health being linked to physical health this is a good way to encourage people to stay active.
“Hurling is a way of life in Kilkenny but, once you retire, that’s it. Hopefully this will keep people active, doing something they love.”
The message of Social Hurling has gone down well in Kilkenny, with news of the League also making national headlines. Tyrrell is hopeful that all the positivity will result in plenty of people coming forward to try their hand at the new venture.
“We’ve had an unbelievably positive reaction to the League, so we’re hoping to have a good turnout,” he said.
“Some people might be a bit nervous about playing - maybe they’ve haven’t been as active as they’d like in a long time - but once people get up and see it’s just a bit of fun with like-minded people they’ll really enjoy it.”
The over-35 Social Hurling League begins at 6pm at the Watershed on Saturday. People who would like to enter a team - individuals who would like to play will also be paired up with teams - can contact the league kksocialhurlingleague
@gmail.com or by following them on Twitter at @35League.

For more on Kilkenny People sport read here.