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How sport in Armagh is bridgin...
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How sport in Armagh is bridging the sectarian divide | Jacob Stockdale

Shane Hannon
Shane Hannon

13:39 27 May 2020

Ulster and Ireland star Jacob Stockdale says sporting unity in Northern Ireland proves there are ways to bridge the sectarian divide.

The Irish News wrote recently about how Stockdale and Armagh senior football captain Stefan Campbell had been knocking on doors in Lurgan to make life easier for the most vulnerable in the Orchard County town.

Campbell had been visiting homes in a largely Unionist part of the town, something Stockdale said showed huge change was afoot in the North. He told Eoin Sheahan on OTB AM that it was an extremely positive sign of things to come.

"[Stefan] is a great fella. I think it speaks volumes when the captain of the Armagh GAA team is going to the Lurgan Rugby Club in the middle of Mourneview, which is quite a Unionist dominated estate.

"He's getting bundles of food and delivering them all over Lurgan. I think that's massive for the community. We've come a long, long way in that sense where it doesn't really make a difference where you're from or how you were brought up.

"It is sport that's bringing us together, which is massively exciting. I played my first ever game of gaelic last year with all those boys! It was just great craic! I was full-forward, I scored one goal so I was pretty happy with that!

"I was shocking, but I loved it. It's just something that I would never really have thought of doing growing up, because I suppose that's just not what you do. But hopefully we can get to the point where that is what you do.

"[Where] every kid goes and plays hurling, gaelic, football, rugby, cricket - whatever sport you want to play you just do it."

Lurgan Rugby's Pollock Park grounds are in use by Campbell's club Clan na Gael, and Stockdale says that just highlights how sports clubs in the community work together.

"This has been going on for a while, they're just two clubs that have a really good connection and good relationship."

FURTHER READING:

  • Jacob Stockdale on watching back every game he plays - HERE
  • Jacob Stockdale on the famous All Blacks win in 2018 - HERE

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Read more about

Armagh GAA Eoin Sheahan GAA Jacob Stockdale Off The Ball Otb Am Stefan Campbell Ulster Ulster Rugby

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