In some ways, rounders is the forgotten sport of the GAA for many people across the country.
The vast majority know that football and hurling are the two biggest sports under the association’s umbrella, while handball is played in some capacity in every county in Ireland.
However, although rounders has some work to do to prosper like the GAA’s other three codes, it is certainly a sport on the rise.
Bagenalstown Rounders Club chairperson Alice Clarke pinpointed the turning point for the sport when she spoke to KCLR’s Saturday Scoreline.
“It is one of the four official GAA sports. It has come and gone for a long time and it wasn’t until the early 70s that competitions for both genders and across age groups began and it has been strong ever since,” said Clarke.
There are currently three clubs in Carlow, Fenagh, Cuchulainn and Bagenalstown. In contrast, there are no clubs in Kilkenny.
Kilkenny is not the only county without an official club. Many counties across the country are void of a club and Clarke revealed that the aim for the sport is to have a registered club in every county at some stage in the future.
“It is the mission of the National Rounders Association that there will be a club in every county in the future.
“That’s a long way off but it is at its strongest in Leinster and it is growing in the other three provinces.”
The Bagenalstown chairperson highlighted the growth of the sport in recent years.
“Last year they introduced a senior championship and for the first time ever an intermediate championship so that teams get to play at their own level.
“That really shows how much the sport has grown in the last number of years.”
Anyone that is interested in playing but has no club in their county don’t have to worry. All clubs are open to everybody, regardless of your location.
“They have introduced a rule now where anybody that would like to play can play for any club across Ireland, but you would have to play with a club in your own county if there is one.”