Around the World in 80 Clubs: Oslo GAA, Norway (#43)
They don’t call themselves the Barcelona of the GAA world for no reason.
If you thought you had it tough training in the cold and the rain during the pre-season, at least console yourself with the fact that it probably wasn’t as grim as Oslo in Norway, where temperatures well below freezing are a way of life in the early months of the year.
The weather doesn’t deter the eager members of Oslo GAA, however, of whom there are currently 51.
That number includes characters such as Ben Slater from Australia and American Mike, who sound about as Irish as the Taj Mahal but have taken to their new sport like ducks to water.
While we’d love to suggest that the Barcelona association was to do with the universally beloved style of play with which their play their football, it’s actually to do with Oslo GAA becoming the first GAA club to feature a charity logo on their jerseys, which you can find out about in more detail below.
Secretary David Rudden was happy to spill the beans on some of his colleagues within the club, who can count a former Miss Universe contestant amongst their honorary members.
Focus on Oslo GAA
Club Name: Oslo GAA
Year established: 2010
Number of members: 51 and growing
Biggest rivals: Stockholm GAA
Biggest representation from a club/county in Ireland: Cavan and Dublin have a few on and off.
Most famous ever member(s): Tony Heffernan, Roz Purcell, and Darran O’Sullivan.
Most memorable moment in the club’s history: Winning our home tournament in 2014!
Most eye-catching scoreline in the club’s history: I think we scored five goals in the final of our tournament in 2014. Not too shabby.
Player who makes the longest commute to training: Domhnall Reynolds travelled from Copenhagen to Oslo for the AGM, some 600km or so to the north.
— Oslo Gaa (@GAAOslo) February 6, 2017
Most dedicated club person: Domhnall Reynolds. He even makes sandwiches for us.
Loudest in the dressing room: Tiny P
Number of romances that started in the GAA club (feel free to name names): We don’t mix business and pleasure in Oslo. A couple of the lads have been known to mix it up with other ladies teams at away tournaments, however!
Duck to water award – Best new player who had never played GAA before: Ben Slater (Aussie) and American Mike have impressed us with their skills.
Best story involving a club member that’s fit for print: We see ourselves as the Barcelona of the GAA world as we are the first GAA club to have a charity logo on its jersey.
Our nominated charity is Bee For Battens and this has helped create great awareness and funds for the Bee For Battens charity.
In addition, we were the first Nordic club to appear on the hallowed turf of Croke Park!