Wexford Gymnastics: Ten members from Wexford Gymnastics Club along with fellow high achievers within Gymnastics Ireland membership travelled to The Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin recently for the inaugural JLT Gymnastics Ireland national awards to celebrate winning the award and title of display club of the year.
The national awards is a new annual event that is designed to reward all those stand-out performers and contributors to the sport of gymnastics throughout the year. The 14 award categories were announced in September.
The club nominated themselves in the 'display club of the year' section. Under the guidance of club coach and choreographer Róisín Kavanagh, members from the Senior class travelled to Limerick in June of this year to participate in 'The Floor' which is entirely a display event.
We received huge praise from fellow participants and the audience. Little did we know that that performance would lead us to winning a national award!
The awards were acknowledged by Gymnastics Ireland to mark the success achieved and hard work put in by those making a special contribution throughout the year in the development of the sport in Ireland.
Over 170 guests were in attendance, including Shane Califf, the manager of N.G.B's for Sport Ireland and keynote speaker, Liam Harbison, C.E.O. of Paralympics Ireland.
M.C. Joanne Murphy kept the guests entertained throughout and led the crowd through the awards ceremony which comprised 26 presentations in total. The categories were wide-ranging and rewarded representatives from both the competitive and participation elements of Gymnastics Ireland.
They included a number of individual categories such as: gymnast of the year, Ellis O'Reilly; Rising Star, Rhys McClenaghan; and club categories such as: competitive club of the year, Renmore Gymnastics, and display club of the year, Wexford Gymnastics Club.
ST. KILLIAN'S A.C.
St. Killian's Athletic Club held a very successful annual general meeting on Monday, November 14, in Kyle Forge. Chairperson Anne-Marie Forde thanked all committee members and the coaches for their hard work over the past year.
The club had a number of achievements over the course of the year, in particular the Ferrycarrig 5 race which is going from strength to strength and attracting many high-profile competitors. Club member Pádraig Moriarty played a big part in its success.
Similarly, the primary schools marathon in its first year in the county was a massive success and feedback from the schools was very positive. This was the brainchild of coach Paul Kinsella and it is intended to make it an annual event.
Completion of the throws circle was another milesetone, and the club intend to develop it further with the purchase of a throws cage in the near future.
The placement of the astro-turf which has been a long-term project is now nearing completion, and the digging of a second long jump/triple jump will also be an added bonus for the athletes.
All these achievements have helped to increase the profile of the club and as a result there has been a considerable increase in membership. For 2017 the committee want to continue to build the club and to encourage the children and their parents to take part in the local and Leinster competitions.
The club took home five All-Ireland track and field medals last year and six Leinster medals, which in itself in a great achievement for a small club and testimony to the hard work of the coaches and the commitment of the athletes involved.
The Senior members continue to compete very well for the club, with Niall Sheil in particular having a wonderful season, competing in the Masters track and field and cross-country competitions, county road races, national indoor championships, numerous local and countrywide marathons, and being a member of the Over-35 Irish team in the Five Nations championship in Santry.
The Chairperson concluded by saying we need in 2017 to look at how our Juveniles can benefit from the experience of the Senior athletes and cross over from Juvenile ranks to Senior.
Secretary Kathryn Kinlough said 2016 was a very progressive year for St. Killian's under the chairmanship of Anne-Marie Forde whose drive and leadership has resulted in the completion of many of the above achievements.
In her detailed account of the successes during the year in the Juvenile section, she said that the club would like to see an increase in the numbers competing for the coming season. The club had much success in many events and took home a total of two gold, five silver and 16 bronze medals at the county Juvenile track and field competitions.
Most notable Juvenile achievement for 2016 goes again to Jack Forde who won four All-Ireland medals, while his sister, Amy, also won medals at national level last year. These are wonderful achievements and all the competitions provided great experience and enjoyment for all participants.
She also complimented the Senior members on their many successes. The club was extremely proud of coach Nicky Cowman who received an All-Star Leinster Achievement Award for his services to athletics.
She too acknowledged the effort and commitment of the coaches, Nicky Cowman and Mick Kehoe, during the year which has not gone unnoticed. All their hard work and time, not alone for their coaching skills but also for the hours of manual work they did to install the throws circle and lay the astro-turf, is much appreciated by the club.
Special thanks also went to Paul Kinsella who is assisting with some coaching sessions and who introduced the idea of the primary schools marathon. She also thanked Alice Devine, Anne Cowman and Therese Finan and all the parents who gave a helping hand over the course of the season.
The club continues to provide a social outlet for the community and to facilitate the healthy development of the athletes in a safe and fun environment.
A detailed update and report on the financial side of the club's activities was given by Alice Devine which showed the club to be in a healthy state. P.R.O. Anne Cowman thanked the People newspaper for their continued support and coverage of the club's activities. She also thanked Anne-Marie Forde and Niall Sheil for providing results and news items during the year.
The Facebook page, she said, is attracting more views and is a great means of communicating and keeping the young athletes and Seniors alike informed and up to date on the club's activities.
Election of officers: Nicky Cowman (President), Fr. Jim Finn (Vice-President), Anne-Marie Forde (Chairperson), Niall Sheil (Vice-Chairman), Kathryn Kinlough (Secretary), Anne-Marie Forde and Kathryn Kinlough to share the duties of the Competitions Secretary, Alice Devine/Niall Sheil (joint Treasurers), Anne Cowman (P.R.O.), Mick Kehoe and Therese Finan (Child Officers), Máire Browne-Carley, Mick Kehoe, Sharon Murphy, Pádraig Moriarty (committee members), Nicky Cowman, Mick Kehoe, Paul Kinsella, Niall Sheil, Anne-Marie Forde, Amy Forde (coaches).
Indoor training for Juveniles continues in the Community Centre every Monday and Thursday from 7-8.15 p.m., and new members are most welcome. The club continues to grow and the improvements to the athletic track will be to the benefit of all athletes.
In addition to that, Anne-Marie Forde and her daughter, Amy, have joined the ranks of the coaches at the club. It's onwards and upwards at St. Killian's for 2017.
Nine up and coming young swimmers represented Wexford Swimming Club at the Leinster graded gala recently, all hoping to improve their grades. They were rewarded with colour-coded wrist bands for the different grades they achieved.
Helen Barry had some great swims, especially in the 100m fly where she got a seven-second P.B. and achieved three grade 6 times, a grade 7 and a grade 8 time.
Dillon Cousins took six seconds off both his 100m breast and 100m back and in doing so got two grade 4 times, two grade 5 times, a grade 6 and 7 time.
Hannah Fitzpatrick got a two-second P.B. in the 50m back and finished with a grade 4 and 5 time and two grade 6 times.
Thomas Francis got a great three-second P.B. in the 100m free and achieved four grade 7 and four grade 8 times.
Emmet Cousins earned himself a grade 6 time in his 100m back when he took two seconds off his time, and also got a grade 8 and four grade 7 times.
Kitty Kielthy achieved a grade 4 time and also a grade 3 time in the 50m back by knocking four seconds off her time, while her sister, Mallaidh, took an impressive 13 seconds off her 100m I.M. and finished with a grade 4 and two grade 5 times.
Sophie Mahon improved her 50m breaststroke time by one second and earned herself three grade 6 times along with a grade 7 and a grade 8 time.
Pádraic O'Carroll got a two-second P.B. in his 50m fly and finished with three grade 7 and two grade 8 times.
Swimming on the same day were 13 of the Junior members of the club when they competed in the round robin gala hosted by St. Fiacc's in Carlow. Again some very good swims were witnessed with great P.B's.
Well done to Ella Duggan, George Lucut, Aoibheann Mc Auley, Bonnie Murphy, Cáit O'Carroll, Ellie O'Mahoney, Charlie O'Mahoney, Sarah O'Mahoney, Charlie Shaw, Ellie Stafford, Layla Stafford and Peter Stefanov.
Kilkenny beat Wexford 1 away in the South Leinster League recently.
Winter doubles finals: men's A/B, N. Rossiter and J. Staples beat G. McElroy and D. Murphy, 6-4, 6-2; ladies' A/B, N. Walsh and N. Conlon beat C. Haugh and C. Hore, 7-5, 6-2; men's B/C, L. Hipwell and E. Kelly beat P.J. Lawless and S. Atkinson, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2; ladies' B/C, S. Kissane and S. O'Neill beat G. Hall and B. McCormack, 6-3, 7-6.
Upcoming events: Wednesday, November 23, fashion show, 8-10 p.m., in aid of Curracloe N.S.; Thursday, November 24, club A.G.M. at 8 p.m.; Friday, November 25, poker night; Saturday, November 26, South Leinster League v. Kilkenny at home, 2.30 p.m., and Hillbrook Tennis Club visit at 6 p.m.; December 9, first turkey tournament.
Week one of the league was held in the Horse and Hound last Wednesday night, and the standard of darts has shown that we are in for a treat this season as the level of the matches were top class and of the highest order.
The ladies were up first and the final saw Sinéad Foxe challenge Liz Byrne in a closely-fought encounter. Both of the girls were in sparkling form and will be a big threat to Caroline Bradley's hopes of retaining her title.
Both will play a big part in the destination of the title, one feels.
The final itself went all the way to the last leg and Liz just pipped it at the end for a great start and maximum points in her league campaign and she sits at the top for now. Sinéad will be back in a final soon and I wouldn't bet against her.
The main section semi-finals were something else and first up were Michael Meaney and Jeff Nolan. Jeff of course is last season's league champion and by the looks of things he wants to keep it.
Michael threw well in this match but Jeff won by two legs to nil. An indication of the quality of the darts thrown by Jeff is that these legs were both finished in no more than 12 or 13 darts, and that folks is professional level.
The second semi-final was a match-up between Colm Noblett and Jacko Ffrench.
Colm would have been the favourite going into this with most people, but Jacko hadn't read the script and he played his way into the final with some of the steadiest darts I have seen from him in a while.
Colm will be happy enough with his night's work and it sets him up nicely on the league table.
The final saw Jeff throw first and he made no mistake with the darts to take an early lead, but Jacko looks a new man this year and he was unflappable in the second leg to level the match.
Jeff knew he was in a battle and stepped up a gear in leg three to take a narrow lead.
The fourth leg proved to be decisive as Jacko was in a good position to take it but was pipped at the post by Jeff who stole the leg at the death.
Jeff leads the way after week one but with 15 more weeks to go it's all to play for. See you all next week.