THE South Kerry Hurling Bord na nÓg held its third annual Hurling Awards Night in the Killarney Plaza Hotel on Friday last.
There was an impressive attendance, in excess of 250 people including coaches, parents, juveniles and members of the local communities in the South Kerry region. We are very grateful to our main sponsor, O'Donoghue Ring Hotels, for providing the impeccable venue and to all the various sponsors who were acknowledged on the night for their tremendous support of the event.
Our special guest speaker for the evening was Liam Sheedy, former Tipperary hurler and All-Ireland Winning Senior Hurling Manager. We were also joined by Patrick O'Sullivan, Chairperson County Committee, Ger Galvin, Vice-Chairperson County Committee, Ger McCarthy, Hurling Officer and Pat Delaney, Secretary South Kerry Senior Hurling Board.
John Lenihan, Chairman South Kerry Hurling Bord na nÓg, opened proceedings by recounting all of the achievements of the South Kerry clubs and players throughout the 2013 season. He was followed by Patrick O'Sullivan, who acknowledged the enormous work being put in by the South Kerry clubs and board in the promotion of hurling, both on and off the field.
The new South Kerry Hurling Development Officer, David O'Dea, was introduced to all present and spoke on his goals in his new position. He recognised the work done by his predecessor, John Griffin, and hopes to continue to develop a strong hurling base in the region in the coming years.
Ger McCarthy acknowledged the great strides being made by the younger hurling clubs in the region, particularly Rathmore, on winning the Div. 3-Phase 1 and Div. 2-Phase 2 Co. Leagues.
The first awards of the evening were presented to the successful All-Ireland Minor 'B' Hurling winners from South Kerry; Aaron Murphy (Dr. Crokes), Chris Doncel (Dr. Crokes), Shane Hannafin (Dr Crokes), Patrick O'Shea (Kilgarvan), David Crowley (Kenmare), Fionan O'Sullivan (Kenmare). Their manager, Pat Ryan, also received an award for his contribution to Kerry hurling.
Our special guest speaker, Liam Sheedy then took the stage and first stated how overwhelmed he was by the support present on the night. He spoke on the importance of participation in sport, be it hurling or gaelic football. Every child wants to be involved and try out these games for themselves.
He stressed that in today's world there is room for both hurling and gaelic football; that even in his own county of Tipperary, both codes are thriving. He spoke of his time with the Tipperary senior hurlers and the level of commitment the players had in order to succeed.
He also held a brief Q&A session and an intriguing question came from the floor; would he be interested in the vacant Kerry hurling managerial position? He replied that it is a very big commitment, but he didn't say no!
Following this, Liam made presentations to the other players who represented Kerry at various age groups in 2013:
U14 Kerry: Ciaran Kennedy (Dr. Crokes), Dylan Dermody (Dr. Crokes), Gearoid Fennessy (Kilgarvan) and Christopher Creedon (Kilgarvan)
U15 Kerry: Daniel O'Brien (Dr. Crokes/Glenflesk)
U16 Kerry: Jack Lenihan (Dr. Crokes), John Mark Foley (Kilgarvan), Flor O'Sullivan (Kilgarvan) and Brian O'Sullivan (Kenmare)
The Under 12 South Kerry hurling team received awards for their participation in the Munster Inter-county Club Blitz in Semple Stadium, Thurles. Each player got the opportunity to play in the 'Field of Dreams' in August.
A huge raffle was held on the night for a wide range of spot prizes which was very well supported. Thanks to the ticket sellers, to all who contributed and to our sponsors for their generous prizes.
Friday night also marked the launch of the Schools Hurling Coaching Initiative. By working with the schools, this initiative aims to raise funds to purchase coaching equipment and supplement coaches in order to help the new Hurling Development Officer, David O'Dea, to bring hurling to the schools in the Killarney/Rathmore area. O'Sullivan Cycles & Outdoor Store, Killarney have sponsored a fantastic prize, a Giant Defy 4 (2014) Road Bike with an RRP €749.00. The draw for this prize will take place on St. Patrick's Day, March 17.
Your support of this initiative will be greatly appreciated.
Following another successful year for hurling, the future looks bright for South Kerry as the clubs make great strides at both county and inter-county levels.