The last few weeks have been busy for Laochra Busan Gaelic Football members. Kicking off the season with the first round of the Korean Gaelic Games here in Busan on May 10th meant the club had plenty to do. With teams arriving from Seoul and Daegu for the day long tournament, Laochra old-hands had their work cut out both organising visiting athletes and helping new members to the club settle in and enjoy their first taste of competitive GAA. Brilliantly handled, the tournament went off without a hitch and, after a hot day in the southern coast sun, the visiting teams joined Laochra in Gwangalli’s ever popular Sharkey’s bar to unwind and celebrate a day of great sport.
Only a few weeks later the teams faced one another again, this time in Ulsan. A combination of riverside pitches, perfect weather and exemplary tournament organisation by hosts Daegu Fianna meant that all clubs enjoyed another day of competition and sportsmanship. The day was topped off with lots of players opting to take up our host’s offer of a night out in Ulsan.
So, after two rounds of the Gaelic games, Laochra Men’s A team find itself mid-table with formidable resistance coming particularly from the well established Seoul teams. The Ladies team sits an agonizing point shy of the top position; a strong start in Busan and an undefeated run in Ulsan wasn’t quite enough to catch the speedy ladies of the Seoul Gael’s A team.
As the North Asian Gaelic Games approach this weekend, Busan is once again gearing up to play on an international stage. With Seoul welcoming athletes from China and Japan to their three day long tournament, the NAGGs are bound to be a highlight of many Laochra players’ time in Korea.
Off the field, the club is never short of action. Along with regular training, there are equally important post-training beach trips and nights out sampling Busan’s finer nightlife so there is no time for new members to feel like they are not part of this ever growing club, no matter when they join.
Finally, July 12th will see Haeundae’s Wolfhound pub host Laochra’s fundraising open mic night, with all proceeds going to Soyang Orphanage in Hadan, Busan. The line-up for the night contains plenty of Busan live music regulars and there promises to be several extra surprises throughout the night. A great location, great local talent and a great cause â we expect to see you there!
Story and photos courtesy of Rose Clay