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Joe Kernan: Top players doing their bit away from the pitch

When many GAA players hang up their boots they tend to focus rather more closely on striving to bring their golfing handicaps down.

And it’s because of this that no fewer than eight charities will directly benefit this week.

Every county in Ireland is currently represented at a major Golf Classic in the Costa Blanca, which is aimed at raising funds for charities currently being to some extent denied the oxygen of funding because of the ongoing recession.

Many familiar faces have been in action over the course of the week with former Meath All Ireland winner Bernard Flynn one of the principal organisers.

In all, upwards of 150 have been taking part and the four winning provincial counties were Armagh (Ulster), Tipperary (Munster), Kilkenny (Leinster) and Roscommon (Connacht).

Over the course of the past three years this event has actually raised a huge sum for the overall charities and this year is proving no exception with generous sponsorship and ready support from participants helping to swell the funds.

Among the individual winners was former Monaghan player Nudie Hughes, one of the most popular personalities in Ulster GAA circles.

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It is most encouraging to see that the stars of yesteryear are prepared to come out to try and help those who are less fortunate than the rest of us.

There are many demands on current and past players of course to aid charitable causes and although they cannot respond to them all they certainly make a big effort to do what they can.

I think this underpins the very ethos of the GAA.

Meanwhile, I note that a host of former players were in action in a special charity match in Croke Park last Saturday, the proceeds from which went to the Alzheimers Society.

By all accounts it was an interesting tie, a team representing pundits, commentators and writers taking on an Oireachtas Selection.

The pundits had the last word — but would you have expected anything else with Joe Brolly on board?

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