Thursday 26 April 2018

Grassroots club of the week: Sportsworld running club

Terenure Club
Terenure Club

Frank Greally

Another bumper entry in yesterday's Terenure 5 Mile Road Race provided Sportsworld Running Club with the perfect platform to celebrate their 30th anniversary - a major milestone for the south west Dublin club, whose impressive headquarters are located in Bushy Park, beside the tennis courts. Debra Ireland was the designated charity for this year's Terenure 5 Mile and they too were delighted with this impressive turnout.

Sportsworld is a thriving club of close to 200 members. Former Irish international athlete Emily Dowling first set up the club as a Meet & Train facility for women training for the Mini-Marathon. "In those early days of the club's development we often had over 300 women training in the 12 weeks leading up to the Mini-Marathon," Emily said.

Sportsworld Running Club has over the years developed into a strong distance running club for men and women and Emily is still deeply involved in coaching individual athletes and club teams. Just recently, the club's Women's teams won silver medals in the Novice and Masters divisions at the Leinster Road Championships and the Men's Novice team won bronze at the same promotion.

The club has enjoyed considerable success over the years, winning national team events in cross-country and on the road. Back in 1981, before the club was formed, Emily Dowling raced home a winner in the Dublin Marathon; one of the highlight moments in her long and highly successful athletics career. Emily's brother Tommy was also an Irish international athlete.

Many of the athletes Emily Dowling has coached at Sportsworld have made a big impression on the national club scene; names like Catherine Smith, (a former winner of the Women's Mini-Marathon), Sandra Gowran, Eimear Martin (now Eimear Power); Aoife and Crona Brady, Jean Wilson, Lucy D'Arcy and Helen White.

The Sportsworld Running Club Men's teams have also been high achievers over the years; especially the Masters teams, with names like Myles Nugent, Tommy O'Neill and Brendan O'Connor all playing their part in team success.

In recent times, club athletes like Paul Duffy and Phil Kilgannon have been to the fore. In the Dublin Marathon of 2012, Paul Duffy became the first Sportsworld runner to dip under 2:30 for the classic distance. In 2005 Sportsworld AC saw building work completed on their impressive and spacious clubhouse.

This was a major development for the club, spearheaded by Emily's husband Mick Dowling. "Mick put heart and soul into making this happen and today we have a fine facility for all our club members to share and enjoy," Emily said.

The membership of Sportsworld Athletic Club has held at around the 200 mark for the last few years and there is always a welcome in Bushy Park for new members.

Committee

Chairman: Paddy Lynch

Secretary: Kevin Curran

Assistant Secretary: Tracey Gannon

Treasurer: Stephanie Bergin

Registrar: Brendan Egan

Assistant Registrar: Ciara Foster

Men's Captain: Paul Duffy

Assistant Men's Captain: Michael Cunningham

Head Coach & Women's Captain: Emily Dowling

Assistant Women's Captain: Aoife Brady

Club Webmaster: Denis McCaul

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