About Us

We are Wellington/Hutt Valley Gaelic Football & Hurling Association. Our mission is to become New Zealand’s leading Irish cultural and sporting body and we are well on the way to achieving this goal.

Our Committee

Wellington/Hutt Valley GFHA’s growth is led by our Committee members whose core focus is to:

  • Deliver team success on the field.
  • Grow Kiwi and ex-pat participation in the games and social events of the club.
  • Provide a stable financial and operational foundation for the two objectives above.

 

Committee 2021/22

Wellington/Hutt Valley GFHA committee 2021/22 at Whistling Sisters following the AGM on Tuesday 22 June 2021. Back row (L-R): Tiaré Verenitani, Ronan O’Malley, John Bobs Daly, Bryan ‘Badger’ Downes, Eoin ‘Brick’ Norton. Front row (L-R): Damien Farrelly, Denise Durkin, Davey Rynne.

Committee roles and contact information

President

Davey Rynne – president@wellingtongaa.com

Since moving from Co Clare to NZ back in 2006, Davey has served on the committee in many roles over the years, from secretary to vice-President. This is his first stint in the role of President and he hopes to continue the great work of previous committees.

Over his 15 years in Wellington, he has seen the club grow from strength to strength, seeing the inclusion of hurling; women’s football being added back into the club; as well as the introduction of the social Gaelic football summer league. He is most proud of being part of the kids Gaelic games sessions and is hoping to see that grow into an integral part of the club.

Davey has played in goals for the club over many years and played in more tournaments than he cares to remember. His proudest playing moment was coming within a whisker of winning the Australasian Senior Championships in 2010 when Wellington/Hutt Valley were pipped at the post by Queensland in the final after double extra-time. He now enjoys the more sedate pace of junior and masters football with a bit of refereeing thrown in for good measure.

Vice President

Denise Durkin – vicepresident@wellingtongaa.com

Denise moved from Galway to Wellington in April 2005 and a couple weeks after arriving in the city, she joined the club. The Galwegian has played in a number of competitions for the club down through the years. A highlight was representing the club’s first women’s football team at the 2014 Australasian games in Melbourne.

Having served as President for the past couple of years, this will be her fourth year on the committee. Her favourite aspect of the role is being able to play a small part in helping the club continue to fly the flag for Gaelic games here in the New Zealand capital. The most important aspect for Denise is providing expats, who are so far from home, a space where they can reconnect with the Irish community and play the sport we all love.

Secretary

Tiaré Verenitani – secretary@wellingtongaa.com

Leaving behind the snakes and spiders of homeland Australia, Tia was literally blown away with Wellington when she made the move across the ditch in 2018. Her introduction to the world of Gaelic games began with the social Gaelic football league as Trevor (AKA Fr Mangan) encouraged Tia to become part of the team and community here in Te Whanganui-a-Tara.

There was no looking back for the fearless Fijian once she had mastered the solo with the ongoing support of coaches and players alike. Her persistence, passion and dedication certainly played a huge part in her journey, leading to Tia captaining the Fr Mangan’s social team in the 2020/21 season. Full of enthusiasm on social finals day, she proudly lifted the winning trophy.

Tia’s commitment goes beyond the pitch. She’s always ‘on the ball’ and ready to offer a helping hand to everyone. We’re sure Tia will continue to excel in her newly appointed secretarial role.

Vice-secretary

TBC

Treasurer

Damien Farrelly – treasurer@wellingtongaa.com

The Cavan man made the rookie mistake of speaking up at the AGM last year, which landed him in the role of treasurer. This was a big change from the six years he’s spent with the men’s footballers, and though nothing beats playing, it has been a very rewarding experience so far.

He is enjoying finding ways to add value across the club and now has a much greater appreciation for all the hard work that goes on behind the scenes by a team of very passionate and dedicated volunteers.

A key priority for Damien is to put the club on a good short-term and long-term financial footing. This will entail focusing on sponsorship and grant applications this year to support our many activities, trainings and tournament costs.

Public Relations Officer

John ‘Bobs’ Daly – pro@wellingtongaa.com

Moving from West Cork to Wellington in June 2018, our PRO got involved with the club from the get-go. Having served as PR guru for his home club St. Mary’s GAA for a few years, he’s now heading into his third year on our committee.

His favourite aspect of the role is writing the monthly newsletter and generally spreading the gospel of Gaelic games around New Zealand. John Bobs also lines out on our hurling and football teams for his sins, with his proudest moment being the NZ Championships double triumph earlier this year.

Events Manager

Ronan O’Malley – events@wellingtongaa.com

Wellington was still feeling the aftershocks of the Kaikōura earthquake when Ronan arrived on the scene in 2017, causing a few shocks of his own with his rambunctious laughter.

Though he hails from Mayo, Ronan only really got his teeth into Gaelic games when he joined the club.

Nevertheless, he has already created lasting memories, such as saving back-to-back penalties against a strong Christchurch McKenna’s side during the 2019 Feis, as well as putting in some stellar performances on the road to our senior footballers’ 2021 NZ championship success.

Now into his second year as Events Manager, Ronan is looking forward to entertaining crowds and selling tickets to the next big club events.

Tournament Manager

Eoin ‘Brick’ Norton – tournamentsmanager@wellingtongaa.com

Eoin ‘Brick’ Norton has been involved with the club since moving down from “the Tron” in 2014. Brick got his nickname after some questionable defending during the Australasians held in Melbourne that same year.

Originally a Dub, Brick never played any Gaelic games before moving to New Zealand. After a lot of help and encouragement from the coaches and players, he is now a keen footballer and hurler.

This is Brick’s first year on the committee, and he’s taken on the role of the tournaments manager. His goal is to assist with the smooth running of the trainings and socials throughout the year, as well as organising the Feis/national sevens competition due to be held in Wellington this October.

Development/Cultural Officer

Bryan ‘Badger’ Downes – playerdevelopment@wellingtongaa.com

Badger moved to Wellington from Maynooth, Co Kildare in 2008. He started playing football with the club in 2009 and first joined the committee in 2011.

He’s played football (and a tiny bit of hurling) with Wellington/Hutt Valley and has been on the committee in some capacity or another ever since, apart from a brief stint at home in 2018/19.

He’s currently our player development officer and he looks forward to working with our coaches to bring more players into the club and help them learn the skills of our beloved Gaelic games.

Youth Officer

Siobhán Cotter – kids@wellingtongaa.com

Siobhán arrived from Dublin in time for the Lions tour in 2005 and hasn’t left yet. She now has a nine-year-old boy, so she loves that he can experience some Irish culture through the medium of Gaelic football and hurling.

Her sporting background is not in Gaelic games, but she started stepping in to help out at the Sunday morning kids sessions throughout the summer. Now, thanks to Davey Rynne’s persuasive powers, she’s fully immersed in our kids Gaelic games.

Siobhán’s aim for this year is to grow the numbers of children turning out on a Sunday morning to experience our wonderful games. She hopes that we can run some sessions in Wellington city this summer as well as connecting with our friends in Kāpiti.

 

Our Teams

Wellington/Hutt Valley GFHA has teams in men’s and women’s football, hurling and camogie. We compete in the following competitions:

National:

National Feis — seven-a-side tournament held in October each year over Labour Day weekend.

New Zealand Championships — held in March each year.

There are various other tournaments and test matches held throughout the year that Wellington/Hutt Valley GFHA compete in:

International:

Australasian Games: held in late September/early October each year*. Teams from Australia and New Zealand compete against each other. This is the highlight of the 15-a-side calendar each year. *The 2020 and 2021 games were cancelled due to COVID-19.

We have also sent teams to the Melbourne Pearses Sevens which is held each February. In 2020 we sent a combined Wellington/Canterbury/Queenstown team to this prestigious tournament.

Social Gaelic Football
From early November through to mid December, and again from January to March we run social mixed team leagues which has relaxed rules around ball handling and less physicality in the tackle. Intent is to make the game more accessible for those new to Gaelic Games.

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