The lasting legacy of the Skylight Sponsored Gaelic Games
Wednesday, September 24, 2014

It has been just over a year now since the City of Cleveland played host to over 100 Gaelic football, hurling and camogie teams for the annual North American Gaelic Games. This was, of course, an event that the Skylight Foundation was hugely involved in, as not only the official title sponsor but as the first to become title sponsor in the history of the Games. So not surprisingly, we were delighted when the Games were hailed as the most successful to be hosted in the US.

So a year on and what legacy has the Games left?  Well, the greatest impact has been seen in the local Irish Community as a result of local Gaelic club Cleveland St Pat’s hosting the Games (on behalf of the city).  Right from the start of the bidding process some seven or eight years ago, creating a legacy was on the minds of the committees and organizers which led to the promise of the redevelopment of an old Gaelic Football field located at the West Side Irish American Club.  This promise has now become a reality as work is underway to replace the “old” field at the Irish Club with a new field with proper drainage, irrigation and eventually changing facilities.  It will become a place where people, not just in the local Irish community, will congregate but will be welcoming and appealing to those not so familiar with Gaelic games.

Mark Owens, who served as Chairman of the event and who we are delighted to say came to work for Skylight Financial Group as Director of Marketing by way of the Games, said, “The legacy of the Games started right from the bidding process and the impact is still being seen.  Money raised from hosting the event in 2013, along with a generous grant from the official organization of Gaelic Games in Ireland the “GAA” (Gaelic Athletic Association) means the legacy is becoming more of a reality every day as redevelopment work on the field progresses.  Indeed, Dan Brennan, my colleague at Skylight, will often joke that if Mark’s nowhere to be found in the office, he’s probably off seeing if any grass has grown yet!”

Dan Brennan, chief marketing officer at Skylight said, “This was an event that Skylight was very proud to be involved with first hand. The success of the Games was down to a strong committee, dedication from local organizations such as the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission and of course sponsors, like ourselves, who were behind it 100%.  It’s great to see that the legacy lives on long after players packed up their hurley sticks, football boots and sliotar* and left Cleveland.”

Check out the pictures of the current project.  It’s not complete as of yet but we thought it would be nice to show progress so far.

*Sliotar is a leather ball used in Gaelic Games and most resembles an American baseball.