To support of the aims of the National Collegiate GAA (NCGAA) in the region, Eamonn Gormley, NCGAA Chairman, organized the first Southern Collegiate GAA (SCGAA) Division on October 28th, 2012.
Attendees of this founding meeting included both collegiate and non-collegiate supporters from Florida, South Carolina, and Tennessee elected the following board of directors: Chairman Scott Graves (Orlando HC/SED PRO), Secretary Tim Buckley (Middle Tennessee State University HC Pres), and Member at Large John Watson (Middle Tennessee State University HC.
“Our area of responsibility is massive.” said Graves, “We cover a 12 state area bounded by Texas and North Carolina.” Initially the group will serve as communications conduit between the NCGAA and area collegiate units as they seek volunteers in each state to help spread Gaelic sports.
Collegiate participation in the South is currently sparse, and clearly lead by the energetic Middle Tennessee State University Hurling Club. However, Ryan Shrum, founder of the Charleston Hurling Club and Pat Doab, President of The Celtic Cowboys, Austin TX both indicate there may be new universities entering the SCGAA landscape. Chasing these leads, the SCGAA staff is currently engaging potential organizers at The Citidel; The Military College of South Carolina, the University of South Carolina, and Texas A&M University.
Though college v college play is the foremost priority of both the NCGAA and SCGAA, both national and divisional branches hope to encourage a symbiotic relationship between college units and local area clubs. This relationship is demonstrated by the Celtic Cowboys in assisting in organizing Gaelic football matches for Texas A&M in the spring of 2013 and with club practice and area tournament invitations by the Charleston HC.
To learn how you can support the NCGAA, visit their Find a Club page. A Southern Collegiate GAA website/FaceBook presence is forthcoming but the Southern Collegiate GAA staff can be reached as follows:
Scott Graves, Chairman firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Buckley, Secretary email@example.com
John Watson, Member at Large firstname.lastname@example.org