Global Ireland Football Tournament (GIFT) 2012
The Global Ireland Football Tournament was declared an unprecedented success as more than 13,000 spectators flocked to three venues to enjoy the spectacle of high school and college American football teams, bands, cheerleaders and dancers in action in a special Dublin Friday Night Lights event organized by Global Football.
The positive reaction of all who witnessed the 12 teams from the United States, Canada and the UK play six games split between Donnybrook Stadium and Parnell Park in Dublin and Páirc Tailteann in Navan was overwhelming.
The Global Ireland Football Tournament was about much more than six regular season American football games played on August 31, with a Parade through Dublin City Centre, a Pep Rally at Trinity College, Educational tours of various Dublin and County Meath sites, practices at University College Dublin and venues throughout the region, the GAA semi-finals at Croke Park, interaction with local sports teams, and friendships made that will last a lifetime. The GIFT travelers also attended the sell-out Emerald Isle Classic between Navy and the University of Notre Dame at the Aviva Stadium.
U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Dan Rooney, owner of the Pittsburgh Steelers of the NFL, was among the guests at Donnybrook Stadium and performed the coin toss with Patrick Steenberge and Honorary Chairman Midshipman First Class Colin Bruton (25th Co.).
Gaelic football legend and Head of Sports at UCD Brian Mullins was on hand to welcome teams as Honorary Chairman and the marching bands of Notre Dame High School and Hamilton High School entertained the crowd before the games and at half time.
Canadian ambassador to Ireland Loyola Hearn and former University of Notre Dame and Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Mike McCoy welcomed the teams from Canada and the United States.
Tazón de Estrellas
Team Stars & Stripes scored 15 unanswered points in the second quarter and went on to defeat the CONADEIP All-Stars from Mexico 32-15 in the fourth annual Tazón de Estrellas on Saturday afternoon at Fortaleza de Azul in Guadalajara.
The group of 48 players, along with coaches and team staff, held a community service football clinic for youngsters in Valle del Sol. Those taking part were able to try on football helmets and pads, learn to throw and catch a football and take part in basic drills, which introduced many to the sport for the first time. They also helped clear an area land to make it more suitable as a play area for the community’s children.
Annual spring tours
Three teams from colleges and high schools in the United States traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to Europe as Global Football continued to lead the way in exporting the gridiron game internationally for an 17th consecutive year. Club and national teams welcomed their American visitors for a memorable mix of cultural exchanges, sightseeing and ultimately an opportunity to meet competitively on the field in some of Europe’s most picturesque settings.
Adrian College recorded a 64-0 win over Italian club team Brigante Napoli as part of a Global Football-organized cultural and sporting visit to Italy.
The Student athletes enjoyed the overseas American football trip of a lifetime as they visited Venice, Florence, Naples and Rome, while also taking on the Italian Second Division team at Collana Stadium near Vomero.
North Central College – Spain
The Spanish national team welcomed North Central College from Illinois to the Estadi Municipal D’athletisme Joan Serrahima where an enthusiastic crowd saw them put up a brave fight in a 36-3 defeat in the Barcelona Classic.
While in Spain, the North Central coaches hosted a coaching clinic and the traveling party visited La Ramblas, Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Figueres and Girona, Lloret de Mar beaches and enjoyed a Flamenco Evening and a Costa Brava Cruise.
Wisconsin Eau-Claire – Ireland
Only 24 hours after arriving in Ireland, there were few signs of jet lag as the visitors scored nine touchdowns against a determined Limerick team that scored on a blocked extra point returned almost the length of the field for two points.
The Blugolds tour to Ireland included a Galway Walking Tour, visits to the Cliffs of Moher, the Burren, Bog Village, a traditional Sheep Farm, Blarney Castle, Trinity College, St Patrick’s Cathedral and tours of the Ring of Kerry and Dublin
Global Bowl – Italy
Represented by players from 20 U.S. high schools in six states, Team Stars & Stripes traveled overseas in April and faced the Italian Under-19 national team in a Global Bowl Italy game that featured in an hour-long CBS Sports Network broadcast. As the historic Italian capital city of Rome marked its 2,765th birthday, Team Stars & Stripes celebrated with a 50-0 victory over the country’s Under 19 national team.
Viewers also followed the activities of the traveling group away from the football field, as they enjoyed the local culture, visited the picturesque spa town of Montecantini Terme, where the team practiced, Florence, set in the rolling hills of Tuscany, Rome via the Basilica of St Francis of Assisi, Ancient Rome and the Coliseum and finally The Vatican.
Pop Warner Super Bowl
Teams from Canada and Mexico joined 72 teams and more than 300 dance and cheer squads from across the United States for the International Friendship Bowl games at the annual Pop Warner Super Bowl.
Ritsumeikan Uji High School Visit To San Diego
San Diego welcomed a group of Japanese student athletes from Ritsumeikan Uji High School in Kyoto to Southern California for a fifth time as part of a unique visit through Global Football. The Japanese visitors improved their English language skills and increased their knowledge of American football under legendary former Torrey Pines High School head coach Ed Burke, while enjoying an educational and cultural experience. The visit included a chance to watch the San Diego Chargers and USC Trojans in action.