Community Games make plans for 2016
County Wexford Community Games held its annual general meeting in the Ferrycarrig Hotel last week.
Although the numbers in attendance were on the small size, nevertheless this was one of the most productive meetings in a number of years, with all positions being filled.
Delegates showed a willingness to give of their time and to help out the county committee wherever they could. Volunteers are the backbone of most organisations and their value to society is immeasurable.
Most of the outgoing officers remained in place and with the new faces now coming on stream, we hope the county will be much stronger when the 2016 season gets under way, and the Areas will row in behind them and get Wexford back to its former glory as a county to be reckoned with at provincial and national levels. Let's all work together to make that dream a reality.
County President Margaret McDermott opened proceedings and welcomed all the delegates. In her address she appealed to them to let any member of the county officer board know if an Area would like to become involved in the Games activities and how they could be of assistance to them.
She thanked all the Areas and co-ordinators who hosted events during the year, Bree Community Games for hosting the athletic finals, and Jim Maher and the staff of the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy for hosting the wonderful reception for the athletes, their parents and supporters travelling back from the national finals in Athlone. She also thanked all the generous sponsors, the press and radio and the delegates who continue to attend meetings and support the county committee.
A minute's silence was observed for all who lost loved ones during the year. Condolences were extended to the families of the late Brigid O'Dwyer, Newbawn; Darren White, Clongeen; Eamonn McCarthy, Piercestown-Murrinrtown, and the nephew of Maureen Quinlan, Dublin Community Games.
A speedy recovery was extended to County Treasurer Delores Moran who is recuperating at St. John's Hospital, Enniscorthy. Wexford Community Games hopes she will be back soon amongst us.
In the County Secretary's report, thanks were extended to all the Areas who got to grips with the new online registration system. At times it was very confusing for the Secretaries, but perseverance pays off.
Hopefully the system should run much easier in the coming season, now that the panel sheets, birth certs. And photographs are out of the way. Once a child is registered, that's the end of it. Sixteen Areas registered in the county and hopefully that may increase in the coming year.
The Treasurer's report showed the finances to be steadily picking up again. Thanks were extended to Wexford County Council, Funges of Gorey, Sports Active, all who placed advertisements in the Festival of Sport and Culture programme with a special mention for new advertisers, Seat Enniscorthy Motor Company and Audi Enniscorthy Motor Company, and to all the Areas who paid up their affiliations and team fees so promptly.
The Games Director stated that the past year was not as active as previous ones, with the loss of five Areas and one Area coming back. Individual entries were slightly down but the biggest drop-off was in the team events.
Hopefully in the coming year we can encourage Areas to be more active in these events too. He thanked all referees, judges, stewards, Noel Ferguson and Wexford Wanderers Rugby Club for hosting tag rugby for girls, and Glynn-Barntown for the use of their grounds for the team finals. Thanks were also extended to Gorey Gymnastic Club for hosting the county finals.
The County P.R.O. also made reference to the very quiet year gone by. She explained that she usually had weekly reports in the papers from January to December but alas with a big slump, particularly in the entries in the team events, the reports were much shorter.
As a committee, she said, we need to sit down and plan where the Games are going in 2016 and how we can help the Area get back to full strength. She thanked the People and Echo newspapers for their continued support and loyalty and in particular Alan Aherne (People) and Michael Carthy (Echo) for all their help and advice.
She also thanked South East Radio for giving coverage to the national finals in Athlone, to the various photographers, the co-ordinators and managers who helped out with reports.
The election of officers followed with a few changes: President, Margaret McDermott, Bannow-Ballymitty (incidentally in 2016 Margaret will celebrate 40 years working for Community Games at local, county, provincial and national levels); Vice-President, Kathleen Howlett (Newbawn-Raheen); Chairperson, Michelle Byrne (BBBCR); Vice-Chairperson, John Hanlon (Ring of Hook); Secretary, Sinéad O'Leary (Glynn-Barntown); Assistant Secretary, Melanie Ryan (Glynn-Barntown); Treasurer, Delores Moran (Glynn-Barntown); Assistant Treasurer, Imelda Dempsey (Taghmon); P.R.O., Anne Cowman (Castlebridge-Crossabeg); Games Director, Jason Moran (Glynn-Barntown); Development Officer, Adrian Carr (Castlebridge-Crossabeg); Children`s Officer, to be selected at the first county meeting of the new committee; Youth Officer, Michelle Carr (Castlebridge-Crossabeg); N.E.A.C delegate, Delores Moran (Glynn-Barntown); sub-N.E.A.C. delegate, Jason Moran (Glynn-Barntown); Leinster delegates, Anne Cowman and Margaret McDermott; Development committee: Adrian Carr along with Jason Moran, Jim Doyle (Bree-Davidstown), James Tomkins (Kilrush-Askamore); Appeals committee: Vice-Chairperson John Hanlon along with Mary Murphy (Bree-Davidstown), Mary Murphy (Clongeen), Adrian Carr (Castlebridge-Crossabeg), Kathleen Howlett (Newbawn-Raheen).
Among the motions to be forwarded to national for consideration at the annual general meeting early in the new year were: that all athletes may wear spikes in track and field events for health and safety reasons; that all athletes in the Under-10 hurdles may wear spikes for health and safety reasons; that the under-age restrictions be abolished in the Under-13 girls' and boys' swimming squads, therefore nine- and ten-year-olds could take part with Under-13 swimming squads).
Recommendations for consideration at county level included: that the county athletic finals be held at the Hub in Enniscorthy; a need to take action to rectify the issue of maps by a selected committee; introduce a fine to Areas who do not attend county meetings; that the finish line judges at the athletic finals be from different Areas.
Margaret McDermott expressed the thanks of Wexford Community Games to outgoing County Secretary John Carr for his work during the past two years, and also to Jimmy O'Neill who stepped down as Vice-Chairperson.