Warwick to host Irish sports festival

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The Bend Street fields will play host to Warwick’s first-ever “Half Way to St. Patrick’s Day” celebration this Saturday, focusing on numerous Gaelic sports and activities.

The event will feature activities such as hurling, Gaelic football and Damhsa dancing, performed by local athletes and dancers while also giving newcomers the chance to learn each and to experience the Irish culture along the way.

The event was organized by a handful of locals in the Rhode Island Gaelic sports community, including Laura Corbin, who discovered these sports through her son, Devin, who participates in all three, and is currently a member of the Providence Hurling Club.

“I just figured, that if everybody involved could work together, then this could be something really fun. I would walk around Warwick City Park and think to myself, ‘this would be a great place to have it,’ I have been toying with this idea for a couple years now and now that Devin is with the adult leagues, it’s just the right time. We originally wanted to have it at city park, but decided that we would need another field so we are going to Bend Street which I think is an ideal location,” said Corbin.

There will be exhibition games being played by the Providence Hurling Club, while the Warwick Damhsa Irish Dance Studio will be holding a demonstration and then a performance of its own. The event is free to the public, and not only gives viewers the chance to watch these teams in action, but to also participate as well in a fun, casual atmosphere.

“We want to share it, our goal has not changed. These sports have so much to offer and the more that people are around them the more they get hooked,” said Corbin. “This is a great opportunity for people around here to see what these sports are like and what it means to play them. That’s my focus, to bring that Irish culture. It’s going to be interactive, if you want to try it you could go on the field and try it, if you wanted to dance you could go on the dance floor and try it.”

More than anything, Corbin wants to give locals the opportunity to come together as one to learn about and celebrate the Irish culture within these sports, which also appreciates unity within a community.

“It’s just a fun way to bring the community together and that is how it is in Ireland with the sports,” said Corbin. “It’s a community event that we hope to make into an annual celebration.”

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