Monday 26 August 2019

Grassroots club of the week: Young Mount Merrion AC

Mount Merrion AC is a young club with a bright future, writes Frank Greally

Mount Merrion AC
Mount Merrion AC

Frank Greally

Mount Merrion AC - one of the latest clubs to affiliate under the umbrella of Athletics Ireland - is located on the Lower Kilmacud Road in Stillorgan on Dublin's south side.

On a recent visit to the club's training grounds, I found there were over 100 children going through their pre-training warm-up drills under the experienced eyes of Aled Hughes, who along with a group of parents founded this new club.

The fledgling club came together quickly after only two meetings convened by Aled. A native of Wales, he has a background in physical education and sports coaching, teaching PE through a programme called Codex Kids. The programme teaches children the ABCs of athleticism, health and active lifestyle in a fun and challenging environment. He found kindred spirits for his children's fitness programmes in Cliona Beatty, Hugh Fitzsimons, Maria McCarthy, Jean Delaney, Robert McCarthy and Susie Cronin and it was this small but very effective group that formed Mount Merrion AC. Behind the scenes, Cliona Beatty is a pivotal driving force and a very efficient administrator.

From a standing start, the club has made a great leap forward. Last May, over 100 of the young members travelled to the state-of-the-art indoor arena at Athlone IT, where children aged 4 to 14 enjoyed a day of competition in running, jumping and throwing events.

Most of all, the coaches at Mount Merrion AC want to promote participation, wellness and an active lifestyle to the young members. Club members train on Tuesdays and Thursdays and, during the winter months, Tuesday evening training takes place in Deer Park, Mount Merrion. The present club membership is approximately 140, mostly made up of young athletes, 5-13 years. The club welcomes young athletes of all abilities who want to learn to run faster, jump higher or throw further in a fun environment.

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