Journalist, public relations and marketing consultant. Chair and co-founder of Hoboken Guards hurling and camogie club in New Jersey, which was established in December 2010
What is your Irish background?
“I was born in Elizabeth, New Jersey in 1977 and I have four older brothers. My mother Mary Theresa Cosgrove was born and raised in Charlestown, Co. Mayo, and my father Patrick Cosgrove is from Co. Galway. The only of their siblings to immigrate to the U.S., my parents left Ireland at ages 19 and 23, respectively. They met in New Jersey.”
What is the mission of the Hoboken Guards?
“There are three primary goals of the Hoboken Guards. The common denominator for all club goals is to have fun, and treat our members as we want to be treated. with a positive, welcoming, respectful demeanor. As for how we treat our opponents -- ask the Shannon Gaels, Rockland hurlers and Bronx Warriors!
“We want to sustain and grow hurling in New Jersey and Manhattan through constant recruitment of male and female athletes of all standards and ethnic backgrounds, with competitive play offered for those who seek it.
“Through publicity, marketing and special events, the Guards seek to unite local residents, fans, organizations, businesses/sponsors and Irish organizations, showing area residents the fastest, most skilled field sport on earth. The sport is 2,000 years old and still is generally unknown in the area.
“The Guards eagerly look forward to establishing youth hurling clinics and a true, fun, youth hurling division out of our home facility-to-be, Sinatra Park Field in Hoboken, which sits on the west bank of the Hudson River. The pitch will not be open to use until renovation is complete until October.”
When and where do the Hoboken Guards compete?
“We compete in both the New York Gaelic Athletic Association's Gaelic Park Junior Hurling League (teams mentioned above), with additional select North American GAA Tournaments (the latter against primarily American born hurlers). Our league season this year runs June through August, tournament dates to be posted on the hobokehurling.com calendar shortly. The Guards will additionally send a hurling team and camogs (female hurlers) to the 2012 North American GAA Championships the first weekend in September.”
As your home field is being renovated, where are you training presently for the summer 2012 season?
“Through the summer and September, training takes place on Tuesday nights 7-8:30 PM at Lincoln Park West in Jersey City and Fridays 6:30 till 8:30 PM on the Roosevelt Island Octagon unless otherwise noted. Please check the Hoboken Hurling & Camogie Club facebook page and hobokenhurling.com for updates and transport information.”
How many people are involved in the club?
“Our active men’s roster currently has 25 men, and we are presently organizing training sessions to spur the creation of a camogie team which tentatively has 15 girls committed thus far. As club members understandably have work and family commitments, we ask that our hurlers make one of our two weekly training sessions per week"
"Anyone reading this article with the slightest notion of being part of a fun, active sports team between Manhattan and anywhere in central and northern NJ to reach out to us at [email protected] We have hurlers traveling from as far as Princeton University (good man Brendan Lyons!) and Connecticut/Long Island (Tim Morgan!), so we're doing something right! Please provide your contact info, sports playing experience and availability for training.”
What kind of people have joined?
“Short, tall, young, some old and bald like myself. Men and women ages 19 to 42 thus far with the bulk of team members are in their early 20s to mid 30s. A great bunch of guys and gals n all seriousness, professionals spanning all the trade sectors including engineering, finance, business management, media, the arts."
"On the roster, aside from all four provinces represented by our hurlers and camogs, we have had a couple Italian Americans, a couple of Germans, an African American, a Welsh fellow who helped for the Indiana Hurling Club, the list is long. We hope our club will have athletes representing each continent in time, as hurling is played on every continent. The Hoboken Guards intend to represent the melting pot that is the the New York/New Jersey area. Americans can hurl, they just need to be trained, as early as possible...we are working toward that goal (#3).”
Do you think sports play an important role in bringing the Irish community together abroad?
“Being a part of a growing hurling club in America is a special endeavor, a very worthwhile one. Club members enjoy the fruits of weekly workouts which are good for the body and mind and lead to a well rounded, healthy lifestyle. Being part of such a tight knit sports team is a healthy step release from the recognizable stresses we all feel in today’s world. We're all together, we're all brothers, we are a family.”
Would you advice those who have no experience in hurling/camogie to get involved?
“Take the first step and come to a training session. Doesn't matter if you don't have boots (cleats) you have sneakers. Bring them. We don't judge, we're here to show you how to play the game.”
What has been your biggest obstacle as a club?
“Having a facility to call our home. We have been working with Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer, appreciate the support from the city and look forward to placing our "Home of the Guards" banner on the netting surrounding Frank Sinatra Field this fall. Doesn't matter what country your blood is from, the door is wide open for beginners and experienced club hurlers alike.”