To celebrate the 50th anniversary of Féile, sponsors John West have come together with the GAA, LGFA and Camogie Association to give under-15 club sides throughout the country an opportunity to showcase talent and represent their counties at Croke Park and Thurles.
Following the Féile na nGael (hurling and camogie) and Féile na nÓg (Gaelic football and ladies football) competitions last August, teams from 32 counties were entered into a draw offering the prize of a trip to play at GAA HQ in a non-competitive, celebratory event over the Halloween Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday, Sunday and Monday, October 23, 24 and 25.
There will be a series of matches involving 32 counties across all four codes.
Féile na nGael was first held in 1971 and initially hosted by Tipperary. To mark the anniversary, sixteen Féile na nGael stalwart counties will be represented by invited clubs in a Tipperary-based special anniversary hurling blitz on Thursday, October 28, with semi-finals and finals taking place at Semple Stadium.
The events were launched yesterday (Wednesday) by John West Féile Ambassadors and inter-county stars, Limerick’s Cian Lynch (hurling) and Galway’s Shane Walsh (Gaelic football).
This is the sixth year of John West’s sponsorship of what has grown to become one of the biggest underage sporting events in Europe.
Throughout its sponsorship, John West has focused on encouraging children to participate in Gaelic games, while emphasising the importance nutrition plays in fuelling young athletes.
This year’s running of the competition saw it take place on a county basis in August, with the age-grade moving to under-15, ensuring children who missed out in 2020 due to the pandemic, got a chance to compete.
John West says it was delighted to honour its pledge that no child would be left behind following the cancellation of last year’s events.
Once again, Féile brought together thousands of young hurlers, camogie players and Gaelic footballers in a celebration of the GAA’s community ethos through underage competition.
“Féile highlights the importance of sport in children’s lives and that is something we are truly passionate about,” said John West Ireland General Manager, Peter Rooney.
“The chance to play at Croke Park or Semple Stadium is an added element designed to once again allow clubs play against and foster links with teams in other counties and provinces.
“We pride ourselves on supporting children taking part in sport and make a conscious and continuous effort to highlight the importance of young people continuing to play into teenage and adult years.
“Féile gives us the opportunity to highlight the importance of natural nutrition in children’s diets. John West has created a range of products naturally high in protein and Vitamin D, supporting muscle maintenance and normal functioning of the immune system, meeting the needs of young Féile athletes, post-training or after a game.
“The cancellation of the 2020 John West Féile due to Covid came as a big disappointment to hundreds of young footballers, hurlers and camogie players all over Ireland, but John West remains proud to promote the philosophy that every player should participate at a level fitting with their age, skills and strengths.”
According to GAA President, Larry McCarthy, one of the great benefits of a lifetime involvement in the GAA is the friendships and memories made as a result.
“As a competition, Féile has been superb at living up to this from its earliest days. To reach its 50th anniversary is a significant milestone and generations of players have experienced the joy of being a part of Féile na nGael and Féile Peile na nÓg.
“I was delighted at the move to the under-15 age-grade, which enabled those who were disappointed to miss out last year, due to the pandemic, to have the opportunity to play and be a part of Féile.
“Our thanks to John West for the support they give to assist us in the promotion of this iconic competition and to the national organising committee for ensuring a John West Féile in 2021.”Tweet