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Hurling for kids: East Middle School students get lesson in ancient Irish sport

Posted at 10:02 AM, Mar 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-03-04 11:29:58-05

BUTTE - Well, they say Butte is the most Irish city in America, so it stands to reason that they should learn Ireland's national sport—hurling—and that’s why representatives are here at East Middle School to teach kids about the ancient Irish sport.

“We’re here to grow the sport, grow the culture. Butte, America, where would you rather be than here?” said Myles Maloney.

Representatives from the University of Montana's hurling team taught kids some basic hurling skills. There were also Fulbright Scholars from Ireland who were there to teach kids some phrases in the Irish language.

“We’re going to teach them to say their name, where they're from, and teach them how to respond, so just some basic phrases they can use in these coming two weeks up until St. Patrick’s Day,” said Irish language instructor Eibhlin Niccormaic.

Irish instructor Caoimhe Ni Chonghaile added, “I’m really looking forward to working with some of the kids and teach them a few drills, maybe how to pick the ball with the hurl, to solo, to pop the ball with the hurl, walk with it, try keep it on and not fall on the floor.”

Have you ever played hurling?

“Nope,” said East Middle School student Jessi Jones.

Have you ever heard of it?

“I’ve never even heard of it,” said Jones.

Is this something you would try?

“I definitely think I would, this is very fun,” she said.

I even tested my hurling skills.

The University of Montana’s hurling team will play an exhibition game at Alumni Stadium at Montana Tech on March 17 at 2 p.m. against Butte’s hurling team after the St. Patrick’s Day parade.