Sunday 19 April 2015

Young sports stars scale new heights

Published 25/08/2014 | 02:30

David McDonnell, Strokestown, Co.Roscommon, right, and Sean Hickey, Ballyduff, Co.Waterford, in action during the semi Final of the Boys U.12 100metres . HSE Community Games August Festival 2014, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath.  Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
David McDonnell, Strokestown, Co.Roscommon, right, and Sean Hickey, Ballyduff, Co.Waterford, in action during the semi Final of the Boys U.12 100metres . HSE Community Games August Festival 2014, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Eoin O'Hanlon, left and Fionan Gallagher, Monaghan Town, Co.Monaghan, representing Ulster celebrate at the end of the Gaellc football Mixed Under 10 playoff final against Clane/Rathcoffey, Co.Kildare, representing Leinster in August
Shanise Fitzsimmons, Ballyjamesduff, Co.Cavan, representing Ulster, in action against Siofra Byrne, Lucan, Co.Dublin, representing Leinster in the playoff of the Under 14 Camogie Final. HSE Community Games August Festival 2014, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Aaron Doherty, from Westport, Co. Mayo, after winning the Boys Duathlon event. HSE Community Games August Festival 2014, Athlone Institute of Technology, Athlone, Co. Westmeath. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***
Seven-year-old Jack Morrin with his brother, Conor (5) and mum, Orla O'Connor from Kildare enjoying the HSE Community Games in Athlone yesterday (Sunday). Photo: David Walsh

KERRY beat Tipperary in hurling. Roscommon are the All-Ireland football champions. Meath won the soccer and Cavan triumphed in rounders.

It can only be the HSE Community Games where the careers of some of Ireland's best-known athletes and entertainers were born.

Niall Quinn, Sonia O'Sullivan and Tommy Bowe are among the former participants at the games -which recorded its largest ever attendance over the weekend.

Almost 4,000 children took part in a range of sports and cultural activities under the watchful eye of 9,000 spectators at the Athlone Institute of Technology.

The main focus was the track and field events but there was also more novel finals such as skittles, spikeball, disco dancing and comedy sketch.

Among the 3,000 volunteers was Olympian and former under-eight sprinter Brendan Boyce who was just back from the European Championships in Zurich where he finished 16th in the 50km walk.

"I did the under-13 walk when the games were in Mosney and came sixth," he said, adding that he is always keen to come back because as a child he used to love seeing Sonia O'Sullivan in the crowds and thinking he could be like her.

"This is where all the raw talents gets filtered through," said games president Gerry Davenport.

Irish Independent

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