A Newtownforbes man has become an internet sensation after posting a video on YouTube which features him using hurling as an example when posing a mathematical problem.
Neil Casey, a former hurler with Clonguish, decided to use the sport as a medium to present the brain teaser to eighth grade students at Bessborough Drive Elementary School in Toronto, Canada, where he is a teacher.
â€œIt went ina direction I didnâ€™t expect it to,â€ said Neil, who expected only his students would be interested in the video, which has now been viewed more than 5,000 times since it was uploaded two weeks ago.
â€œI usually post video reviews for the students on problem-solving strategies, but this was the first time I posted a video challenge,â€ he continued. â€œSome of them answered using their own video responses, using their own sports stories.â€
â€œI had taught them about hurling before, and one day I brought in some hurleys to see if anyone would like to try it. Fourteen of them stayed behind after school to play it!â€
Neil, who is a son of Gerry and Dee Casey, continues to play the sport himself.
â€œWe started Toronto Hurling Club in 2010 and we have a strong menâ€™s side now,â€ he explained. â€œWe won the American Junior Championship last year when we beat San Francisco. Next year weâ€™ll hopefully have under-age sides, too. The Canadians love it.â€
Since moving to Canada, Neil has also started playing Aussie Rules football, and he lost no time making an impression with his club, High Park Demons. In 2013, he received the clubâ€™s Rookie of the Year Award, along with the Championship Rookie of the Year Award, before capping off the year by winning the Canadian Player of the Year title.
Neil was also included in the Canadian squad which travelled to Australia for the Aussie Rules International Cup.
â€œIt was the best experience of my life,â€ he admitted. â€œWe finished in 5th place and the team voted me as the best Canadian player of the tournament. At the gala dinner I was also named in the World Team, too.â€
It was a proud achievement for Neil, especially after he picked up an injury.
â€œI broke my wrist in the first quarter of the last game, but I played on,â€ he said.
â€œThe Ontario League is the biggest outside Australia, and it starts again in May. Iâ€™m also heading to the US with the Canadian team to play in the Parallel Cup.â€