Cllr Séamie Morris of Sinn Féin has concluded another successful season of his Sports Tourism initiative, saying that both European and North American groups get great enjoyment from Sports Tourism, just as Tipperary gets great employment from Sports Tourism.
Cllr Morris said: “Only last week a German school group from Herzogenrath Gymnasium sampled the Premier Hurling experience in MacDonagh Park Nenagh. A few weeks back, they were preceded by another German group, from Villendorf Stuttgart, who experienced hurling for their first time.”
“Our tourists really enjoy the Premier Hurling Experience which starts with a short introduction to hurling and the skills involved. They then put what they see into practice, and are put through a number of hurling drills by Premier Hurling coaches.”
“Of course all the groups enjoy the Puc Fáda competition at the end. Sometimes that’s the best part for them as they enjoy competing. Girls, boys, teachers and parents take part. We’ve even had the bus drivers taking part in it! Some of the Canadian ladies rugby groups have been very competitive.”
“So far this year 16 groups from Canada, USA and Germany have visited Nenagh and experienced our native sport of hurling for the first time. The whole experience that they taste here is magnificent. Because of it’s popularity, I have had several groups that are already planning ahead for their next trip to Tipperary. They come from as far away as Kansas and Canada. Some are planning to come back to us for the third time.”
“There are also individual visits from people who have had Tipperary recommended to them by groups who came here for the sports initiative. I originally set this up to give Nenagh a signature tourism project to bring people to the area, and am delighted with it’s success. Now I’d like to develop a similar project on an all-county basis.”
“I am now planning a new initiative which will link all our Republican heritage, historic battle sites and memorials in a Republican heritage trail. This will see all of Tipperary take the forefront in historic commemorations from 1916 onwards, as Tipperary was to the forefront of Republican resistance in the War of Independence and Civil War.”
Photographs (by Teresa Collins, Portroe)