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Thai team and Gaels take first Gaelic event honours

Cairde Khmer’s Keelyn Grandon (centre) poses with her MVP award next to club chairperson Conor Wall (right). Khemrith Vong
Cairde Khmer’s Keelyn Grandon (centre) poses with her MVP award next to club chairperson Conor Wall (right). Khemrith Vong

Thai team and Gaels take first Gaelic event honours

Cambodia’s first ever Gaelic football and hurling games played out to great success at Phnom Pennh’s ISPP grounds on Saturday.

Teams from Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore battled it out in men’s and ladies’ Gaelic football matches. To close the event, an exhibition hurling game was played under floodlights.

The tournament was organised by the world’s newest GAA Club, Cairde Khmer, which was only formed in September.

A total of 85 players braved the heat to represent their clubs, while an estimated 250 spectators viewed the action throughout the day.

A pitchside after-party and presentation ceremony rounded off the historic day.

On the field, Thailand were crowned men’s Gaelic football champions, while Saigon Gaels scooped the ladies’ Gaelic football crown. In the exhibition hurling match, Thailand beat a mixed Cambodian and Vietnamese team. Several player of the tournament awards were bestowed for each of the three sporting codes on display throughout the day.

The men’s awards went to Thailand’s Niall Geraghty, for his Gaelic football endeavours, and Saigon’s Damien Maloney, for his hurling prowess.

The ladies Gaelic football award was given to Cairde Khmer’s Keelyn Grandon.

Cairde Khmer chairperson and co-founder, Conor Wall, said afterwards: “The day exceeded all expectations. Both the spectators and players enjoyed themselves immensely.

“The aim of the tournament was to use sport to help develop stronger bonds between Irish and Cambodians, as well as highlight the GAA
values of community volunteerism, cooperation and development.

“I would like to think we went some way to achieving this today.”

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