Oklahoma football standouts Blake Bell, Gabe Ikard and Trey Millard experienced sports abroad this summer while studying in Ireland.
Along with volleyball senior Morgan Reynolds, the football trio traveled as part of an upper-division sociology course called “Sport and Culture in Ireland.”
Among the biggest takeaways for Ikard and Millard? Most Gaelic Athletic Association athletes aren’t paid.
“It was interesting to see guys that play at the highest level, just playing for pride and for country and the love of the game, not monetary reward,” Ikard said.
They even got to try their hand at some traditional Irish sports. Through a company called “Experiencing Gaelic Games,” the Sooners played Gaelic football and hurling — two of the country’s most popular sports.
Gaelic football is similar to soccer with a few differences, including the ability to use your hands.
Both Ikard and Millard said hurling, similar to field hockey and lacrosse, was one of the hardest sports they’ve ever played.
“Hurling is impossible,” Millard said. “I did the Gaelic football and I was a lot better at that one. But the hurling was insanely tough.”