Students at Seton Catholic Preparatory High School in Chandler welcomed 12 students from Sacred Heart Secondary School for Girls in Tullamore, Ireland for a week of classes, outings to attractions like Rawhide and the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.
Tullamore and Chandler are sister cities.
The Irish students brought their hurling skills. The 3,000-year-old Gaelic sport of hurling is like a combination of hockey and baseball. It’s a very fast game, with a lot of running and smacking a ball the length of the field with a hurley, which looks like a wooden axe. The girls’ version of the sport is called camogie.
Hurling has a cross bar, like a football goal, and a net, like a soccer goal. Score in the net, past the goalie, it’s three points. Over the crossbar, it’s just one point.
Seton students did their best to hit the ball with the hurley. It’s not as easy as the Sacred Heart girls made it look. There were some success but quite a few complete misses. The bat is flat, so its position in relation to the ball must be just so.
A bunch of Seton football players spent quite a bit of time perfecting their batting skills and after a while succeeded in connecting with the ball, which is a similar size and density to a baseball.
In June, 11 lucky Seton girls will get to go visit their new friends at Sacred Heart in Tullamore for 10 days, attending classes and learning about Ireland.
Prior to the exchange program, the two schools created a cookbook with many different recipes from Seton and Sacred Heart families.