BUSAN, South Korea — After completing their first season last year, many players are returning for another campaign with Laochra Busan, which is part of the Korean Gaelic League. If you've never even touched a ball in your life, you are still more than welcome to attend a training session and give it a go. The Club trains every Saturday at Samryak Park in Sassang around midday, the first session kicks off this Saturday February 11th, with practice every week in preparation for the first tournament on April 28th.
Last season we brought one mens and one womens team to the tournaments. This season we hope to boost our numbers and hopefully have enough for two mens teams.
If you think that the Club is strictly for the Irish, you're wrong. Club members come from various countries, with even a few Koreans on the ladies' team. No matter where you call ‘home,’ when you put on the navy & red colors of Laochra Busan, you become a member of a special type of family. Camaraderie forms the back bone of any Gaelic Athletic Association club, and Laochra Busan is no different; being so far away from home strengthens the bonds within the club and every single member is proud to represent their adopted city, Busan.
In June 2011 Laochra Busan Gaelic Athletic Association Club (GAA) was born, the first club of its kind in Busan; it joins the Seoul Gaels and Daegu Fianna, and hopefully this season will see more clubs form. Although still in its infancy, Laochra Busan competed in the Korean Gaelic League in Sept 2011 and represented Korea in the Asian Gaelic Games in Suwon, Oct 2011.
After only three months of training, Laochra Busan traveled to Suwon for the Korean Gaelic League. Both teams played to the best of their ability, and although we didn't bring home any silverware, it was a great day for the Club.
In October the Club made the pilgrimage to Suwon again, this time for the Asian Gaelic Games, the biggest amateur sporting event in Asia each year. Both teams had improved immensely since the KGL and as one of the newest Clubs under the Asian County Board Laochra Busan played with 'fighting!' spirit and made it further than competitors expected.
The ladies' team fought hard and made it to the quarter finals, while the men made it one step further to the semi-finals. I myself was fortunate enough to play on the winning team (the Whites) in the inaugural Camogie match of the AGGs; teams were made up of Camogie players from all over Asia and the Gulf. Jackie Moran was deservedly honoured with an All-Star medal for her excellent work on the pitch. All three Korean Clubs represented the country with pride and will relish the chance to represent the country at the 2012 AGGs.
This year the KGL kicks off with Laochra Busan hosting the first tournament on April 28th. This will no doubt be a great day of sport followed by a night of craic in the Wolfhound Bar, Haeundae. So if you're a seasoned All-Star, a bit rusty on the pitch, or a total newbie, Laochra Busan is waiting for you. Once you're bitten by the GAA bug, there's no turning back. If you fancy 'giving it a lash', join the Facebook group to stay informed as to training and tournament info. Fundraisers are held throughout the year too; Laochra Busan trains hard, and knows how to throw a great fundraising party. The club is proudly sponsored by the Wolfhound Bar, Haeundae, whose support is greatly appreciated always.
For more information on the Club or how to join, find us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also text/ring the Chairman – Peter Bonner at 010-8344-1410 or the Secretary, Aoife O'Connor at 010-2780-6494.
The Laochra Busan 2011 Squad