O'Connell: Limerick ideal venue for Community Games finals
Limerick City is set for a huge boost with the confirmation that the Aldi National Community Games will be held at the University of Limerick (UL) for at least the next three years.
Approximately 7,000 competing children as well as coaches, families and spectators from all over the country will flock to the campus every May and August.
Mosney has been the venue for most of the games' history that dates back to 1967, while in more recent years, they were held in Athlone, and later the National Sports Campus in Dublin. The games include a range of sports, from athletics to cycling.
With its vast campus as well as top class sporting facilities, UL is seen has an ideal host venue as the Limerick base looks to create its own history.
The Aldi Community Games has seen famous names such as Niall Quinn, Sonia O'Sullivan, Tommy Bowe, and Paul O'Connell begin their careers en route to competing on the world stage.
Before going on to captain Ireland and the Lions, O'Connell was a dedicated underage swimmer and he greeted the news with a firm thumbs-up. "It's very exciting for Limerick," said the rugby legend .
"Some of my best memories are up in Mosney at the community games.
"Sport was only a very small part of it. The disco was the main part of it every night! There are loads of other events going on.
"I remember sharing a chalet with four lads who I used to swim with. We were seven, eight, nine years of age and we were away from home on our own for the first time ever, without our parents.
"It was great fun and great experiences, so hopefully UL will can replicate that."
The president of Aldi Community Games, Gerard Davenport, is looking forward to the move: "I feel that UL can become the new Mosney. It's a great opportunity for Limerick to showcase their beautiful city."