Sarah Clarke, a Northern Michigan University health and human performance professor who was born and raised in Cork, Ireland, will present “Irish Sport & Culture: Punching above its weight.” Her talk is scheduled at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in 1320 Jamrich Hall. It is presented by NMU’s International Education Services Office.
Clarke will discuss Ireland’s role in the world’s sports climate. Despite being a small island, many Irish athletes from individual and team sports have experienced international success. However, the most widely played sports in Ireland are not international sports.
Clarke will discuss two indigenous national sports: Gaelic football, which incorporates traits from both rugby and soccer; and hurling, which combines skills from baseball, hockey and lacrosse. Both sports are played solely by amateur athletes in the Gaelic Athletic Association, which promotes traditional Gaelic sports in Ireland. The GAA is the largest sports organization in the country, with more than 2,200 clubs in all 32 counties of Ireland.