The Vancouver Harps Hurling team was formed in early 2008 by ISSC club member James Davoren. The team played and won its first ever competitive game that summer against Seattle Gaels. The team continued to grow through 2009, recruiting new members, organising equipment and challenge games, while breaking the stranglehold that other sport (football) held over the ISSC. In 2010, the Vancouver Harps entered the North American (NACB) Junior A Championship for the first time, travelling to Chicago, Illinois. Led by Denis Ryan and the Twomeys from Cork, the Harps were crowned champions following a difficult assignment against Naomh Padraig from San Francisco. Despite the team’s successes the Vancouver Harps did not rest on what was a remarkable accomplishment and drove on to greater things in 2011.
At the beginning of 2011, it was decided to re-name the team from the Harps to the Joseph P Ryans (Vancouver), in the memory of Joseph Ryan, a founding member of the GAA who later emigrated to Canada and who is buried in Cranbrook, British Columbia. In 2011, as playing numbers swelled and the overall level of hurling grew in Vancouver it was decided that the team would make the big leap to Senior hurling at the 2011 NACB Championships, this time held in San Francisco. The team travelled with more than thirty hurlers to San Francisco with sides competing in both the Junior A and Senior Championships. This was a truly remarkable feat considering the club bad been but an idea a mere three years before. The Junior team came up against a very formidable Na Fianna team from San Francisco and were beaten comfortably. The Senior team was drawn against the Boston Champions, Galway. Going in as heavy underdogs, the team battled gallantly and showed a very high level of skill and collective determination during the game. In the end they were undone by a good Galway side by four points. However, the JP Ryans left San Francisco with their heads held high and with no small amount of respect and recognition gained from the bigger hurling clubs in North America.
In 2012, the team has adopted the mantra ‘of being a better team than we were the year before’ and hopes to make strides into becoming better at all levels, continuing the tradition of the team developing and progressing year on year.
If you are interested in playing for the Joseph P Ryans Hurling team, please send us your details to firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of the management team will get in contact with you.
You can also keep up to date with training and game times (as well as other club information) by joining the Joseph R Ryans Facebook group. Training times can vary, but all times are posted to Facebook and in the ISSC club calendar.
Pictures of the Joseph P Ryans in action are available on the Photos page.