Friday 30 September 2016

7,000 competitors flock to the Community Games

Published 13/08/2016 | 02:30

The first of the 7,000 Community Games participants arriving in Athlone yesterday. Photo: Max Feehan
The first of the 7,000 Community Games participants arriving in Athlone yesterday. Photo: Max Feehan

For thousands of Irish kids and their families, it is far more important than the Olympics in Rio.

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Children from around the country have flocked to Athlone, Co Westmeath, to take part in this year's Community Games, of which the opening ceremony took place yesterday.

Some 7,000 young competitors qualified for the games in sports such as soccer, rugby, cross-country running and swimming, as well as music and dance.

The event was established in 1967. Many of Ireland's sporting heroes competed at the games as youngsters, such as former international footballer Naill Quinn and rugby star Tommy Bowe.

Quinn once described winning the hurling puc fada final in the 1975 games as being his "proudest moment in sport".

Athlone IT was chosen as the venue for this year's event, which runs until tomorrow and then again from August 19-21. Most of the events will begin this morning and they will run over the course of the weekend.

Irish Independent

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