Young John Walsh from Kilkenny had two amazing experiences last weekend, one to play in Croke Park and the other to play the best game of his life, a performance thousands would dream of on All-Ireland day.
At first it really bothered me that people were highlighting the death of John’s mother after he pulled off an exceptional individual performance in the All-Ireland hurling minor final , like him I have also lost my mother, but the more I thought about it the more admirable he became.
Walsh came into the spotlight for scoring 2-5 in Sunday’s game and while he will be remembered for his scoring ability, he should be remembered for more. While John lost his mother in March he didn’t go off the rails drinking or on drugs or give up sport.
He couldn’t have to compete at ye highest level of sport and prove his manager Pat Hoban wrong against Waterford in the semi-final at the 37minute and he showed manager why he should be starting in the final.
He has shown the youth of Ireland that there is a healthy escape from grief, pain loss etc, which you don’t have to turn to something negative. Gaa offers support, an escape, a new route to go down when life isn’t at its best moments.
GAA, whether Hurling or Camogie, Ladies Football or Gaelic Football teaches people so much that prepares people for life.
You lose some, you win some. Life isn’t simple and it’s not possible for everything to go your way.
It teaches us to respect people, our opponents, those who give us endless hours to help, to never undermine anyone not matter what level of importance they have to a team.
There are good days and bad days, like the way player perform; some days don’t go your way no matter how hard you try.
Personally I believe it’s what you put in, you will get out. That applies to Sport, Work, School, and College anything in life and we are blessed in this country that we have this game that teaches us about life unknowing to ourselves.