When deciding what to write about in my weekly column, I usually stick to the same formula: Pick whichever item or subject stands out the most from the past week and go from there.
However, this is one of those weeks where there is nothing that stands out more than the rest, or rather, a bunch of things stand out to me altogether. That said, I will be touching on a few things from the past week, so here we go.
First off, the community support for the Gianna Cirella Foundation is outstanding, and is continuing to be a great example of how great things can come from unfortunate circumstances.
For those that do not know the story, Gianna Cirella was a student-athlete at Toll Gate High School who passed away unexpectedly in 2017 due to complications from sepsis. Shortly after, the Gianna Cirella Foundation was created and is dedicated to progressing sepsis research.
I find the community support of this cause incredible. It seems like everywhere you look, there is some new fundraiser or event that is associated with the Cirella Foundation, and these outings have continued to become more and more prevalent in not just Warwick, but throughout the Rhode Island.
There were two events over the weekend associated with the Cirella Fund. The first occurred at Cranston Stadium, when the Cranston and Warwick high school lacrosse teams hosted the first-ever “Border Cup,” with all proceeds going to the Cirella Foundation. Pilgrim and Toll Gate joined forces on both the boys and girls side, while Cranston East and West teamed up as well. After two great games in front of a packed house, the grand total exceeded 2,300 dollars raised.
There was also the Cirella 5k that was ran on Mothers’ Day. Once again, the Warwick community gathered to run in what will continue to be an annual event, and raised even more money toward the cause.
When looking at these events, and the enthusiasm and sense of teamwork that locals have demonstrated since Gianna’s passing, it is quite impressive to say the least. It is hard to make a difference on the national level when it comes to medical research considering the amount of different causes on the table, but if the Cirella Foundation stays at this pace, I don’t think it’s outside the realm of possibility that Gianna’s story and the fight against sepsis becomes a main-stream cause. The awareness that it has spread in Rhode Island alone in these two years has been nothing short of remarkable.
Next up, is Gaelic athletics.
I did a story (which will be featured later this week) on a local mother and son who spent time in Ireland a few years ago and fell in love with Irish-based sports, specifically hurling and Gaelic football.
I’ll be honest with you … I knew what hurling was, but had no idea that Gaelic football even existed. After speaking with the pair and spending some time on YouTube, I was actually pretty blown away with the football side of the story. Hurling was fun to watch as well, but like I said, I had already been familiar with the sport and there are men’s leagues in Rhode Island and throughout the country, but on the football side? Much different.
Gaelic football is much different than American football. Some of the gameplay and aspects of the sport are similar, but Gaelic football, I guess, is a mix of American football, soccer, rugby and basketball. To go through the specifics of the sport would require an entirely new column, but overall, it is a complex yet fun game to watch … and I’m sure playing is even better.
I would highly suggest taking a few minutes to go through YouTube and to scroll through Google and see what it is all about, and to even consider going to the Laura and Devin Corbin’s training sessions that are being held on Wednesday’s at Lippitt Electuary to see what it is all about. For those of you who are like me, and are already experiencing NFL withdrawals, Gaelic football may be a solid alternative in the meantime, and who knows? Maybe you’ll even grow to like it more.
And finally, and I meant to touch on this sooner, but I recently hit the one-year mark of being at Beacon Communications.
In the year that I have been here, I have learned quite a bit about the community, beyond just on a sports level. I have also learned that there is some great talent coming from the youth and high school level in the state. Whether it be top-notch Little League programs, high schoolers that are going to college programs, and professional athletes that hailed from the Ocean State, RI has some great athletes.
I have also learned how passionate people form around here are about sports, which makes my life a lot easier when considering my work. I love sports more than anything, and I have wanted to share that enthusiasm and love with our readers. I have been thrilled to see that so many of you feel the same way as I do, and have enjoyed the coverage that we have provided.
Thank you to all of the athletes, coaches, administrators, parents, and those at the paper who have helped me make a smooth transition to this new area. It would have been a much tougher task without your help and eagerness, and I truly, truly appreciate it and look forward to continuing to provide you with local coverage.