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Berlin GAA club increases numbers at training sessions

Luke Quinn speaks exclusively to OurGame about how GAA members in the German capital have increased the size of groups now meeting for hurling and football

Luke Quinn explains how Berlin GAA have returned to collective training and the measures they have taken to play hurling and football again.

BY SHANE STAPLETON
Berlin GAA are this week preparing to increase the size of their training groups of 12.

Germany are further down the road in terms of their easing of lockdown measures, and it has allowed football and hurling teams to meet collectively since mid-May.

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Luke Quinn, a dual player from Confey in Kildare, spoke exclusively to OurGame about the reemergence of sport during the pandemic.

He explains that creative measures have been taken to satisfy guidelines from German authorities, and that groups have been meeting up in different locations across the city.

As Quinn notes in fuller detail in the video at the top of the page, it has put a smile back on people’s faces.

“We decided to take a step forward in the middle of May, the last two weeks or so,” Quinn explains.

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Berlin GAA players at a recent football session

“We said we’d follow the guidelines of Berlin who said we could meet up in small groups of eight people and there would be no contact of people within the sport, but you could play the sport.

“As you know, hurling and football and complicated as sports as you are using your hands, so you could pass on the infection playing hurling or football.

“So we looked at what steps we could use to integrate this back into Berlin GAA and get back playing.

“We went through a lot of measures of what we could do and the best steps forwards.

“We looked at guidelines and tried to be creative with them.

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“We started off in groups of eight, but we have 40 or 50 members.

“It’s a big city with a lot of places where you can train, so we decided to have three groups of eight in difference areas and set up different WhatsApp groups for them.

“We discussed how we could protect people’s health, and people didn’t have to go if they didn’t feel comfortable.

Berlin GAA will now be meeting in groups of 12

“We looked at sanitising the equipment, keeping distance, having no contact, and wearing your own gloves — but that was your choice.

“Bring your own sanitiser and we followed all the measures. It’s been great the past two weeks.

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“From June 2, we’re allowed to go back to groups of 12 now which will try to introduce this week.

“We had a hurling session yesterday but we kept it at groups of eight because the numbers aren’t as strong as football.”

Click play on the video at the top of the page to hear the full interview with Luke Quinn, who speaks about the impact their return to training has had on members, and more.

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