Co. Tipperary HSE Community Games, National Finals Weekend

Over three thousand children travelled to Athlone to compete over the two days, and the excitement on the faces of all of them was something to be witnessed. They were supported all the way by their parents, coaches and friends. Competitions were held in over twenty five different events, such as Solo Singing, Group Music, Solo Music, Badminton and Indoor Soccer to name but a few.  The standard of competition in the Art, Model Making, Projects and Cross Country was breathtaking and outlines the importance of cultural activity in our organisation. AIT can be proud of their many fine facilities and HSE Community Games are in a privileged position to be able to use those facilities. It gives the children an added bonus and gives HSE Community Games a way forward into the future.

Co. Tipperary had a very successful weekend taking 2 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze and 4 pewter. Young Shane Carew from Lattin/Cullen won a gold medal in the Boys U-10 Art. This is Shane’s second year in a row to win gold, here’s hoping he can go for the 3 in a row next year. Tipperary represented by Powerstown/Lisronagh beat Kilkenny 3-1 in the Girls Under 13 Indoor Soccer competition.  The girls from Powerstown/Lisronagh were in command all through their game.

Nicola Loughnane from Thurles ran a sublime race to finish as the second girl home in the Under 13 Mixed Cross Country race to take the silver medal.  The fact that she finished 10th overall is a considerable achievement when you take into consideration that the field contained boys & girls with about 98 completing the race.

Our bronze medal winners in Nenagh Boys Under 15 Indoor Soccer team never looked like being beaten when they defeated Kiloe of Longford 6-4.  Laoise Looby from Lattin/Cullen came 3rd in the Girls Under 10 Model Making which was a hotly contested event.  However, it was young Colm Slattery of Burgess/Youghalarra playing a reel and a jig on his accordion who beat off the stiffest of competition to take bronze in the Under 14 Solo Music. Colm who finished ahead of Feile winners in his event.  Colm is eligible to participate in this event next year and is a name to watch for the future.

Community Games is unique in that it presents awards for 4th place, previously a certificate was presented, however that has now become a pewter medal.  In fact many participants could be heard saying they would love to win a pewter medal as the design is outstanding.  Two such pewter medal winners were Thomas Nash Lattin/Cullen in the Boys Under 14 Model Making and Ciara O’Grady in the corresponding Girls Under 14 Model Making Competition.

Our project teams from St. Flannan’s did not finish in the medals this year, however, the judges did comment on the extremely high level of research and development that the teams put into their projects and the very professional presentations that were delivered by both teams.

The athletes representing Tipperary in the Cross Country Relay Events at the National Finals did the County proud.  Despite being hit by injuries these young athletes ran their hearts out and qualified for each final. In order to qualify for the Finals on Sunday each team had to finish in the top four. First up on the Saturday morning was the Girls Under 12 team of Sarah Earley, Sarah O’Donnell, Aoibhe O’Shea and Claire Coleman. Sarah Earley and Claire Coleman ran good legs of their relay to hand the baton over to Sarah O’Donnell in 5th place. Sarah O’Donnell overcame a bout of sickness to navigate the hill and hand the baton over to Aoibhe O’Shea in 4th place.  Once Aoibhe took off she was never going to be caught and she brought her team home in 4th place to qualify for the Finals the next day.  In the Finals the girls finished 6th.  The Boys Under 12 came home in 3rd place in their semi-final to qualify for the Finals. There was some clever running from James Dillon, Gavin Hayden, Jerome Cahill and David Ryan on the day.  Daniel Ryan replaced Jerome Cahill the following day in the Finals and the boys finished well in 7th place.  The Girls Under 14 team, like the younger boys before them, ran cleverly in their semi-final to come home in 3rd place and qualify for the Finals the next day.  They were unlucky not to finish in the medals when they came home in 5th place.  Josephine Ryan lead off to hand over to the strong running Mairead Teehan. All Ireland champion Ciara Cummins from Thurles was next up and outstanding run to hand over to sprint specialist Leanne Prout who used her finishing speed to good effect.

Our Under 13 Cross Country team was Aoife Butler, Rachel Martin, Lorraine Doyle, Nicola Loughnane, Declan Hickey, Kieran Hennessey and twins Eamonn and Eoin Troy.  This team ran well in their semi-final to qualify for the final in 3rd place.  In the final they came home in 7th place which was quite an achievement. Nicola Loughnane had the honour of being the second girl home in the National Finals.

Thanks to all the parents who brought their children to the National Finals and to the County managers Seamus Hogan, Claudette Prout, Carmel Troy, Jenny Fahey, Mary Moroney-Cullagh, Albert Doyle, Willie Jones, Mary O’Shea and Joan Hogan for looking after everyone so well.  A special word of thanks to two young ladies who were National Officials at the Finals, Claire Hogan from St. Flannan’s was the youngest assembler at the Cross Country Finals and little Denise Cullagh from Silvermines was a very had working Presentation Girl.

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