Cats are hurling in Super Bowl build-up
By Sam Matthews
NFL fans in America are getting a taste of Kilkenny hurling this week, in the build-up to this Sunday’s Super Bowl XLVI in Indianapolis.
The local Indianapolis Hurling Club was invited by the NFL’s organising committee to take part in the ‘Super Bowl Village entertainment’ during the week, as the excitement before the big game between the New England Patriots and the New York Giants reaches fever pitch.
Kilkenny and Jenkinstown native Ciaran Connery – a former Conahy, Kilkenny minor, u-21 hurler and captain of St Kieran's College senior team – is leading the initiative.
The club is holding hurling skills demonstrations, and offering fans the chance to wield a hurl and sliothar in baseball-style batting cages. The concept is to facilitate local teams which wish to boost awareness of their sports and activities.
Founded six years ago, Indianapolis Hurling Club has now over 200 members – the vast majority of whom are American-born hurlers. Mr Connery, who coaches and develops the game in Indianapolis, says that hurling is becoming increasingly popular across the Atlantic.
“The Americans who have joined our very young club are simply in awe of the game of hurling,” he said.
“They now consider it the best game in the world. They are madly enthusiastic and committed to this most traditional of Irish sports. Who knows where this latest invitation by the NFL Superbowl organising committee will lead?”
Sports network ESPN is broadcasting live from the village, as the countdown to Super Bowl Sunday begins.
It has been a busy sporting week for the Connery household, as Aine Connery is playing senior hockey for Ireland in South Africa. The side is attempting to qualify for the Olympic Games in London this summer.