Gaelic Sports, Home and Away: Building Community and Identity through Sport




Nagy, Adam

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



This research is concerned with Gaelic sports participation in Victoria BC. Through interviews with members of the local Gaelic sports club, the Van Isle Rovers, this research examines the motivations for playing these sports and the club as a community of practice and site of situated learning where, through mutual participation and practice, members learn and share knowledge of these sports and construct team identities. The materiality of these sports is also examined, focusing on the way in which participation and engagement with the uniquely Irish materials of these sports lead to person-thing entanglement and connect people not only to the team and these sports but also to the sporting history, traditions, and land of Ireland. Lastly, this paper focuses on dynamic performances of identity through the playing of these sports and engaging with Irish language and culture within the club, as well as the formation and celebration of hybrid Canadian Irish and other identities. In the end, it is determined that Gaelic sports can serve as a vehicle through which Irish culture can be mobilized to build community, form social bonds, celebrate, teach, and preserve Irish culture.