Grassroots Club of the Week: Le Chéile AC
Le Chéile Athletic Club was founded in 2003 to provide the people in Leixlip, Maynooth, and surrounding areas the opportunity to take part in athletics at a club, county and national level. Outside of competition, this progressive club gives members the opportunity to get fit in a fun environment. Le Chéile AC currently has over 300 members.
Le Chéile AC recently moved in to its magnificent new all-weather track facility beside the Leixlip Amenities Centre.
The construction of the new facility was completed in the summer of 2013.
The athletics track project was funded by the National Lottery and Kildare County Council - as well as through club fundraising. Club members are looking forward to organising their annual 5k race in early May and the 'Midnight Marathon' in June on the new track.
Athletes from Le Chéile competed at the highest level in 2013. John O'Regan again represented Ireland in the 24-hour event at the European ultra-running championship. John also finished second in the national 24-hour championships. At the same event, another Le Chéile club member, Aidan Blade, won the Irish 12-hour national title.
Club athletes have also achieved success at provincial and national level, with David McCarthy winning the senior multi-event national championship and Conall Hayes taking indoor gold in the 1,500m and outdoors at 800m. Conall's performances in 2013 earned him a Star Award from Athletics Leinster and a call up to the Irish cross-country team at the recent Antrim International.
The club's Fit4Life group has already expanded to over 100 members this year. The group are the current champions of the Kildare 5k series and are looking forward to defending their title.
Le Chéile AC has a lot of members who run marathons. There is a very active hill running group within the club which runs in the Dublin/Wicklow hills and mountains every weekend. As well as the established runners, the club caters for beginners through the very popular Couch-to-5k programme, which starts again on Monday next. This is a 10-week training programme. For more information call Cathy at 085-1102375 or Des at 085-7276231.
The Le Chéile AC juvenile section caters for athletes from age seven upwards, covering various athletic events and competing at county, provincial and national level, indoor, track and field and cross-country. Last year was a very successful time for the group with many winning medals at the Kildare and Leinster championships.
There is a very strong family element to the club, with parents of many of the juvenile athletes participating in their own right, assisting as coaches and child welfare officers and serving on the committee.
The new track facility is a very welcome development for members and helps greatly to increase the number and variety of athletic events that the club can offer. A senior track and field club group has started up in the last year, to complement the club's established Fit4Life and juvenile sections and club athletes will be competing in the Athletics Ireland national indoor and outdoor leagues for the first time this year.
Le Chéile AC is always open to new members. Details of all club groups and training sessions can be found on the club website at www.lecheileac.com or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.