AS the days get longer and summer approaches two Carlow town brothers, Ruairi and Gearóid Dunbar from Bestfield, are looking forward to representing Ireland as part of a 23-man squad at the World U19 Lacrosse championships in Canada in July.
Unlike high-profile sports where funding is freely available, the two lads will have to raise €2,500 each over the coming months if they are to realise their dream. Therefore they have been doing their own fundraising and are now hoping to attract sponsorship.
In late 2015 they took part in trials in Limerick and with a combined total of 80 Irish-based players and Irish passport holders who are either working or studying in America, the two Carlow lads did extremely well to be selected.
Gearóid is a sports management student specialising in rugby at IT Carlow, while Ruairi is a fifth year student in Carlow CBS.
At 21 Gearóid is overage, but because Ireland are entering a team for the first time a number of overage players are allowed to take part.
“We have been trying to do it with the senior team so we were delighted we were selected for the U19s,” explained Ruairi. The brothers travel for training and matches in Dublin where they play for club side Dublin City. Last year the Dunbar brothers played against a French international team in the Celtic Open in Limerick.
They took up the sport after their parents, Peter and Mary, emigrated to the United States. When the family returned some years ago the love of lacrosse came back with them.
So now the countdown to Canada is on but the money still has to be raised.
“Gearóid had a raffle during rag week in the college while I had a five-a-side soccer tournament in the school.
“We have a table quiz coming up in Éire Óg shortly and will be looking for support for that,” said Ruairi.
Lacrosse is a team game where players use a long stick with a net on the end of it. They can run, carry, catch, shoot and pass the ball with the net of the stick. It is highly competitive and with it comes injury.
“We have had a few (injuries) along the way but nothing serious,” says Ruairi.
If anyone wants to support or sponsor Gearóid and Ruairi they can be contacted on [email protected] or 085 1443018 (Gearóid).