HOBART will soon play host to the inaugural Gaelic football Australasian Regional Championships on Saturday 18 November.
The state capital was awarded the honour of kicking off the new tournament by the Gaelic Football and Hurling Association of Australasia (GFHAA).
GFHAA Tasmanian vice-president Alan Whykes said at a national level, the association was looking to create more opportunities for regional teams to compete at an appropriate standard.
“As Tasmania’s representative, I lobbied hard for this concept and I am delighted that it will become a reality with Hobart hosting the first championships,” he said.
Both men’s and women’s divisions will be contested in a lightning premiership format, with the top teams facing off in a final late in the day.
The seven-a-side format is played on a soccer-sized rectangular ground, with distinctive Gaelic football goalposts and markings.
“Entries have now closed and there will be seven teams representing five states to contest the trophies,” Mr Whykes said.
“Tasmania will enter both men’s and ladies’ teams, so we hope the home advantage will be of some use against squads that generally have more experienced players than us.”
Confirmed entrants include teams from Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and Queensland.
The first game will kick off at around 9am, with the games set to run through the day until the finals at 3pm and 4pm (all times to be confirmed) at the Olinda Grove Sportsgrounds at Mount Nelson.
Spectator entry is by donation and there will be food and drinks available for purchase.
Although the modern version of Gaelic football is relatively new to Tasmania, it is likely that convicts and settlers of Irish descent played the game here in the 1800s.
The sport is played throughout the world including all major states and territories of Australia.
The Australasian Regional Championships are supported by a grant from the Tasmanian State Government.
Caption: Hobart is set to play host to the Gaelic football Australasian Regional Championships. Photo credit: Alan Whykes.