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Monday October 2nd 2023
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Beach Gaelique …est arrivé!!!!

Les francais goin’ about their business last weekend in the southern French city of Toulouse, were taken by surprise as a new sport had just taken a bow in their ville…Beach Gaelique! New GAA club Tolosa Gaels (Toulouse Gaels, formed this year), took on the job of introducing both Gaelic football and Beach Gaelique to the uninitiated with a mini tournament between Tolouse and Lyons.  Here are excerpts from Toulouse Gaels President, Guillaume Kerrien’s report. 

Beach Gaelique action at Toulouse Plage, Toulose, France. (Photo by Guillaume Kerrien).

Beach Gaelique
Guillaume Kerrien
From July 19th to 25th, Tolosa Gaels proposed a new activity to people at Toulouse Plage : Beach Gaelic Football ! This was an excellent week where the club could show how dynamic our members are, after only a few months in existance. A big thanks to all those who took part in the event.

From Monday to Friday, youth initiations were organised in the afternoon on the beach soccer/rugby pitch of Toulouse Plage. Guillaume Kerrien, Clément Chiesa, Jean-Michel Cancet et Stephen Duffy made young people from 8 to 15 years old, discover what is behind the ‘fist pass’, ‘solo’, ‘tackle’, etc. Most of people initiated did not know anything about the GAA. This was an event to showcase the games we love and its strong appeal .
 The weekend was dedicated to welcoming Lyon and the coaching of adults. But in fact, succombing to huge demand, we were happy to organise a match for 15 kids, as the final match of our crazy week.
On Saturday and Sunday afternoon, after exhibition games, people from Toulouse and even tourists, were invited to discover Beach Gaelic Football on the sand-field of Toulouse Plage. 
After some technical drills, we had these players in a surprising admiration for the sport we were introducing to anyone passing.
Regarding Beach Gaelic, there was no bounce, and a simpler pick-up. But for the rest, the rules did not change and were easy to adapt on the field. The playing facilities were ideal, consisting of inflated goalposts and beach soccer balls. Lyon and Toulouse also played on the grass on sunday morning, with a 11-aside game. 
Challenge:Toulouse v Lyon
Saturday, Beach Gaelic 4x10min : Toulouse 12/11 (47) – Lyon 8-10 (34)

Tolouse and Lyon Beach Gaelique Footbal teams at Tolouse Plage. (Photo by Guillaume Kerrien).

After a first quarter of both teams discovering how to play on the sand, the game went quicker with each minute, and Tolosa Gaels pulled away in the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Even if Lyon did get back in to it in the last quarter with very good scores, Tolosa always had that luxury of a good lead . In the end, this turned out to be a very entertaining and end to end game, with lots of scores and fun of course. Beach Gaelic is tiring, because of playing in the sand, and a good turn-out of both teams enabled a pleasant game for all spectators throughout the hour.
 Sunday, Beach Gaelic 2x15min : Toulouse 4/8 (20) – Lyon 7/7 (28)
 Twogames in the week-end, not enough! Both teams played a second game of Beach Gaelic on sunday, shorter but as explosive as the first one! This time, Lyon won the important duels on the field, resulting in quality goals and fine passages of play.

 Sunday evening, all said their tired goodbyes but without doubt, everyone acknowledged the tremendous success the weekend was for both clubs!
This was a great opportunity to promote GAA sports, and also to recruit new people for the coming season. With trainings set to recommence in late August, we hope that these people will come and take a more keen interest to play and become a part of our club and strong spirit.  But for sure the participants of Toulouse Plage enjoyed their Gaelic experience on the sand!

(Go to Tolosa Gaels Facebook Page for Video clips)
NOTE: No report from Milwaukee this week as last weekend’s games got rained out, while London GAA report will be back next week after London officials trip to the CYC in New York.