FORMER world championship silver medal winner, four-time Olympian and Coachford resident, Olive Loughnane has retired from athletics and competitive walk racing.
Olive competed at four Olympic Games and won her silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin in 2009. Olive, who lives in Coachford with her husband Martin and daughter Eimear, trained regularly on the roads around the village and anyone who witnessed her training was left in no doubt of how tough this endurance sport is. Her involvement in the most recent Olympics saw Coachford decked out in the national colours and the Community Council erected a sculpture dedicated to Olive.
Doug Lucey, PRO of the Community Council said: "Olive's achievements in sport brought great recognition to her club, her county and country. We feel especially proud of our athlete and we are privileged that she and Martin chose Coachford as a place to live. Olive has always given time to local causes and was always available to speak to children about sport and to mark their achievements; we don't envisage this changing in her retirement. "
John Hogan of Hogan's Bar was reminiscing of the buzz her participation in the London Olympics brought to the village.
"It was great that the village had a connection with the Olympics. Olive is such a wonderful ambassador for Coachford. The night that she brought home the world silver medal to Coachford was a great celebration and her homecoming from the Olympics last year was another great occasion.
"Everyone wishes her the very best in her retirement but I imagine she won't stay still for long."
THE cast and crew are putting the final touches to the Coachford Musical, Me and My Girl. The scenes have been painted, the props prepared and the costumes altered. Karolyne Dineen, director said " We are all really excited about the musical.
At this stage we are also nervous but it is looking and sounding brilliant. The singing and music is superb and the backstage crew have done wonders with the design of the set and costumes. We have another week of intense rehearsals left to fine tune a few little things but at this stage we are really looking forward to putting on a great musical".
This musical contains the wonderful numbers, 'Leaning on a Lamp post', 'The sun has got its hat on' and 'Lambeth Walk' The musical, which is suitable for all the family takes place in the Coachford GAA hall on Saturday, February 23; Sunday, 24th; Monday, 25th, and Tuesday, February 26, at 8pm each night.
Tickets are €12 for adults, €7 for under 16s and €10 for OAPs and unemployed. Family tickets are also available. Booking is advisable and tickets can be preordered by ringing the booking office at the Coachford Schools project on (021) 7337171.
The office is open Monday to Friday from 9.30am to 1.00pm. Don't miss this wonderful musical, make sure you get to see it on at least one night and bring a friend!