Rather than spending time honing those skills in hour after hour of drills and athletic conditioning, they just try to have fun, and they have fun by figuring out unique and unbelievable trick shots they can make with their hurleys.
In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of cool trick-shot videos. The hurlers are young and old, and even though they aren’t on the field and scoring points, we’re still plenty impressed.
In it, Irishman Jack Murray talks at the Walter Cronkite School for Journalism and Mass Communication about what makes the sport of hurling so enthralling.
For those already familiar with the sport, it comes across as quite charming. For those who aren’t they might be a little confused by a few of the elements he talks about. (What makes it so fast? You say it’s anyone can learn it and then have one of the world’s top athletes say it’s difficult later on. Which is it? And how do you play? Is it just about bouncing a ball on a stick? … and so on.)
Still, Murray brings up an important point: The Irish economy is in terrible shape, and that’s pushing many young people to leave the country in search of jobs. Ireland’s (unfortunate) loss does have a positive spin. Those Irish leaving the Emerald Isle are bringing their culture with them. They are arriving in cities around the world where the sport of hurling has never been seen.
To all the new Irish diaspora out there, I’d like to say a few things: Just because you moved away from home, don’t think you should leave your culture behind. Forget soccer, basketball, hockey, rugby or whatever else is popular at this new place. Hurling (and all the other unique aspects of Irish culture) is worth sharing. You may have been terrible at the sport compared to those on your county team back home, but you’re not now. You’re likely one your new home’s best players. You can be a wellspring of ideas, insights and instructions to those of us who’ve just discovered the game.
Get out there and share your knowledge. Share your enthusiasm. Start a new club. Introduce hurling to your new community.
It’s extremely rare for U.S. residents to get a chance to see a full game of top-level hurling. Usually, we can only find short clips on YouTube. Lucky fans might have a local pub that carries some games that are broadcast from Ireland. And a few of us are even willing to fork out some money to buy viewing rights to watch them in their home.
But lo and behold, someone at the YouTube channel HurlingGoals has opted to load the entire 2012 Leinster final to the site. For that, Hurley to Rise and the entirety of hurling fans in America say “Thank You! … And please give us more!”
SPOILER ALERT:Don’t read anymore if you want to be surprised by the outcome. The likely reason HurlingGoals loaded this game is because the team who won wasn’t supposed to win. Yep, everyone one expected Kilkenny to totally blow away Galway, but superstar Joe Canning lead his underdog team to a monumental win. Great game, guys!