THIS week we review a successful 2013 Community Games season.
Four hundred Kerry competitors reliased their ambitions by qualifying for the HSE national festivals last May and August in team and individual activities. Kerry also hosted two very successful provincial finals in Tralee. In the inaugural year of the HSE Healthy Events awards, two Kerry areas, Castlegregory and Duagh / Lyre who came second overall, received substansial cash rewards for their endeavours among the 52 entries. At the annual county awards, Kenmare were tops in athletics while Rock St / Caherslee were both overall and participation winners.
In individual competitions Kerry athletes, artists, cyclists, dancer, gymnasts, handwriters, judo exponents, model makers and swimmers all graced the national podium winning a total of eight gold, fourteen silver and nine bronze medals.
Individual gold medals were won by Aoife Doyle, Beaufort (discus), Sean Horan, Castleisland (cross country), Sarah Fahy, Duagh / Lyre (gymnastics) and Cathy Johnson, Duagh / Lyre (grass cycling) Aaron O'Brien, Keel / Kiltalagh, Diane Cooper Firies, Conor Lucy Spa Mucross and Cora Joy Killorglin (all Judo).
In team events, Kerry representatives brought home six sets of gold, silver and bronze medals along with four sets of pewter medals for fourth place.
Badminton: A young Annascaul / Camp / Inch boys team won bronze medals.
Basketball: Both Rathmore / Gneeveguilla Under 11 and Castleisland Boys Under 13 won Gold.
Cultural Corner: Duagh / Lyre, no strangers to qualifying for national finals in many different activities, pocketed pewter medals for their performance of "The Smearla River".
Draughts Under 10: Ballyheigue represented Kerry in a team event for the first time and won silver medals.
Gaelic Football: Killorglin were the county standard bearers in girls Under 12 and won a very credible silver.
Hurling B Competition: In the first year of this competition, Ardfert / Kilmoyley were impressive winners of the Under 11 competition.
Projects: Our teams in all three catogries enjoyed success with Lixnaw Under 16 taking silver, Ardfert / Kilmoyley Under 11 winning bronze, and Rock St / Caherslee Under 13 taking pewter medals.
Relays: Kenmare Under 13 and county Under 14 Mixed distance relay teams took gold; Killarney South Under 15 mixed won silver; the county Under 12 mixed distance relay and Rock St / Caherslee Girls Under 14 took bronze; Boherbee / Cloghers Girls Under 16 took pewter and the girls Under 16 Marathon team won silver.
Set Dancing: the Spa Mucross team set the Athlone stage alight to capture that elusive gold.
Spike Ball: Introduced to Community Games in 2013, spikeball saw Glenbeigh / Glencar win both boys and girls county and munster titles and competed at the National festival coached by Mary Jo Curran. The boys team won silver and the girls won bronze medals.
Soccer: Listowel Under 12 girls were our standard bearers and, after going down in extra time in both their semi final and play-off game, had to settle for forth place.
Table Tennis: Rock St / Caherslee boys Under 13 team won well deserved bronze medals.
The endeavours of our choir (Ballylongford); Musicians & Singers (Listowel); and Quiz (Brosna), went unrewarded but to reach the National Finals is a triumph in itself.
As a new year begins all in Kerry Community Games would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous New Year as we look forward with renewed vigour and enthusiasm. 2014 will most certainly have its ups and downs but participation and enjoyment are the key words under the Community Games banner.
A final reminder: the area secretary meeting is on Monday, January 13 at 8.30pm in the Grand Hotel Tralee.