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July 19th- Interview with Chairman of the CYC NY Eugene McArdle


NEW YORK, NY- Excitement is building in New York
and across North America with the 10th annual Continental Youth
Championships set to bring young Gaelic footballers and hurlers to
Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx for a weekend of competition and
Irish culture, the largest youth gathering of its kind outside of

The CYC - as it is more commonly known - has grown steadily from the
40 teams that attended the first event in New York ten years ago to
the almost 230 teams that will be competing on the weekend of July

Months of organization by dedicated volunteers has gone into this
huge undertaking while many more volunteers will be asked to pitch in
for the games themselves which will bring players ranging in age from
six to 18 to Randall?s Island over four days of frenzied activity.

Adding to the unique nature of this occasion is the fact that the
Gaelic Athletic Association which oversees Gaelic games all over the
world is celebrating its 100th year in New York.

The key to our organization was getting members from all the local
clubs in New York to participate,? said Host Committee Chairman
Eugene McArdle.

The overall plans have been similar to years past but the size of
this tournament presented a different set of conditions that had to
be overcome. Finding the amount of fields we needed in an acceptable
location within the New York City Limits, that was easily accessible
from many different areas in the city-was key.

?The coordination with the New York City Parks Department in
securing permits was the biggest challenge we faced.  We had to
leverage many personal relationships with local politicians and
government officials to coordinate this.?

Of course, as ever with a huge grassroots GAA happening like this,
there is an overwhelming dependency on volunteers to step up and
assist with the day-to-day operations. Aside from that, the Irish
community in general is being urged to come out and support the young
stars who are traveling from as far as California, Chicago, Toronto
and Ottawa with nearer clubs in Buffalo, Boston and Philadelphia
represented too.

The sheer size of the tournament this year is very exciting,?
said Simon Gillespie, the New York Games Development Officer and also
secretary of the CYC Steering Committee.

There?ll be almost 700 games in 41 competitions for the 230
teams. It?s a kind of frightening thought given that the first CYC
had 40 teams and was run over a weekend.

?It's amazing how far it has come over the 10 years and it is
thanks to the foresight of the founders of the tournament and the
perseverance of all involved to get the CYC to where it is now.
We?re all looking forward to being part of the whole experience and
I really hope we can make it an unforgettable experience for all the

The NYGAA Centenary represents a huge milestone in the History of
Gaelic Games overseas and this will be seen in all events leading up
to the tournament. A lot of our players will be wearing the Centenary
NYGAA crest that they will have gotten through their participation in
either the Cul Camps or in the Parade in which the centenary will
feature prominently.

Aside from that the NYGAA will be significantly represented
throughout the weekend in terms of players, coaches, referee's and
administrators. The NYGAA has been a tremendous asset to the Host
Committee and has contributed very generously in all efforts this
year to support the CYC in New York.?