Community Games athletics finals
FIFTEEN AREAS sent children along to the county athletic finals held in Bree on Saturday.
Conditions were cold and blustery in the morning, but at least the rain stayed away for the events to get under way. Thankfully by early afternoon the sun shone through and it was most pleasant for the afternoon's programme of events.
The children all seemed to be enjoying themselves and although they all had the same aim on the day (winning that all-important gold medal), the banter between them was good and they took their wins and losses in good humour.
This was the children's day and there was a great buzz round the field for the opening ceremony. It was good to see so many of the competing Areas making that big effort to march behind the county banner, all proudly wearing their Area colours and sporting fancy hats, ribbons and waving flags. This was a good omen for the start of the games.
On the track there was plenty of competition in the younger age groups, with two to three heats in many of the events. As the age groups went up, the numbers were considerably smaller.
In the field events, the numbers have been dropping off for a number of years now, but the ball throw and long puck competitions had good entries.
The medals were spread around the county and most team managers seemed to be quite happy with their lot on the way home.
This year the cross-country events were not held in the county, as of previous years. Instead the committee decided to run the boys' and girls' 600m Under-12 and the boys' and girls' 800m Under-14 on the track, with the winners going straight through to national and the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth-placed competitors having the option of going onto the mixed distance relay teams.
The relays were the last events on the day and there is always great excitement and good rivalry.
The entries were down on previous years, but nevertheless we had some very close finishes and little or nothing separating the top placings.
The Bree-Davidstown and Enniscorthy Areas took the majority of the titles on offer with some stirring displays.
In the coming weeks there will be a full report with further pictures on how all our competitors fared.