Start a Club

This recipe is based on the successful club startup processes that have been used so far in various US
colleges. And, at all times, you must stick to one principle:

Keep a good relationship with your college administration. Do nothing without permission. You may need permission to put up posters around the campus or to use athletic field space. The college logo will be a registered trademark that cannot be used without their permission. You may even need permission to use the school’s name.

Rules vary from college to college, so you must contact your club sports administrators and find out what the ground rules are.

Phase A – Starting Up

1 – Make yourself known to the NCGAA.

Contact us

2 – Through the NCGAA, establish contact with the nearest GAA people who may be able to give you some
coaching, teach you how to play the game, and maybe even donate equipment.

3 – Establish two members of your future club, a Student Representative and an Adult Representative. The Student Representative must be enrolled at your university and will be primarily responsible for contacting the university fr such items as funding, recruiting fairs, and field acquisition. The Adult Representative should live in or near the city of the university and will be primarily responsible for being a voice of reason, helping to adopt recruitment strategies, and as a consistent face during times when the university is out of session.

4 – Approach your college sports/clubs administration and find out what the ground rules are. Some
schools are more supportive than others. You may receive unconditional support, or you may meet
resistance, which can be overcome as follows:

“We don’t have enough money for new clubs.”

“We aren’t asking for money, just permission to operate on campus and use the
college’s name so that we can represent our school in competitive games against other

“We don’t have enough field space for new sports clubs.”

“No problem. We are willing to go off campus and pay the market rate to rent municipal
field space.”

“There aren’t any local teams for you to play against.”

“This sport is in the early stages of growth, and teams are springing up on college
campuses all over the country.”

“This looks like a dangerous sport”

“Soccer produces more injuries than hurling or Gaelic football. Hurlers are trained
to protect themselves using their sticks, and helmets are mandatory under GAA rules.”

Phase B – Marketing and Publicity

4 – Start a Facebook group to promote your club, and invite people to join

5 – Embed the informational videos (see resources)

6 – Contact the NCGAA to get help in obtaining DVD footage. Free multi-lingual DVD versions of the videos
above, which play on a continuous loop, are available on request. Your job is to get that footage in
front of as many eyeballs as possible. The game will attract a lot of attention once people see it in
action. Do what you have to do to get that video seen, even if you have to throw a party in your dorm
with the video running in the background.

7 – If starting a hurling club, use the this form to generate a poster in your school’s colors and
including your own customized message and contact information.

Phase C – Training

8 – Once you have four or more people interested, you can request assistance in getting equipment. Contact the NCGAA for assistance.

9 – Once you have obtained equipment, and preferably once you have obtained help with basic coaching, you can organize an introductory training session. Spend two weeks using your social networking and the custom poster to publicize this event.

10 – At the first introductory session, get everyone’s contact information, and let them know where and when regular practices are going to be held.

11 – Hold weekly practices at a regular time and location. Keep absolute beginners separate from more experienced players until they have mastered the basics and know how to hook and block safely. Informal low key practices in an open space with nearby foot traffic can be a great recruiting tool if you have fliers or copies of the DVD on hand to pass out. Make sure to collect their contact info, preferably in electronic form on your mobile device to ensure accuracy.

Phase D – Competition

12 – As your team builds, the NCGAA can facilitate games against other teams. Competition against other colleges will take your game to the next level and create the magic and camaraderie that makes the NCGAA experience so special.