Up and running!
Sports hub opening a momentous day
A generation of older athletes turned up to join the very youngest at an emotional opening ceremony in Enniscorthy Sports Hub on Saturday. President of Athletics Wexford, Toddy Moore, took to the podium with officials from Wexford County Council, the hosts.
In the presence of elected representatives and representatives from Athletics Ireland, Toddy spoke of the dream that many of his peers had of having a tartan track in Co. Wexford as a base for emerging talent.
He lamented the passing of a number of athletics stalwarts such as Jim McGee (Adamstown/United Striders), Bill Esmonde (D.M.P.) and Mick Murphy (S.B.R.) to name but a few, who would have been proud to see the track become a reality.
Toddy wholeheartedly thanked the tax payer and the driving force of Wexford County Council for their commitment to the facility.
The Chair of Athletics Ireland High Performance, Bríd Golden, represented the National Governing Body on the podium and spoke of the talent that is present in Wexford, who now can compete on a level playing field with athletes from other parts of Ireland who have had the benefit of these kind of facilities for many years.
Bríd was in the opportune position to announce in front of the large crowd, the success of one of her own protégés, Ryan Carthy-Walsh, who had just hours before achieved the qualification standard for the European Youth Olympics.
To the delight of the audience, coach Nicky Cowman and Ryan both arrived back from Santry before the ceremony concluded. The Leinster Schools champion was applauded by one and all and was living evidence of what an investment in high standard facilities can achieve.
The highlight for many of those in attendance was the presence of John Treacy, C.E.O. of the Irish Sports Council, but more importantly to the athletics community, a double world cross-country champion and Olympic silver medallist.
Together with the Chairperson of Enniscorthy Municipal District, Councillor Barbra Anne Murphy, the Irish athletics legend cut the ribbon to make the track officially open and presented the I.A.A.F. certification to Wexford County Council.
The clubs took part in a range of demonstration, non-competitive events. Paralympian throwers showed their skills and A.A.I. coaches carried out workshop sessions. John Treacy was on hand to pose with young athletes, sign autographs and meet up with old team-mates and coaches such as John Joe Doyle (D.M.P.) and Mick McKeon (Menapians).
For those present it was an historic occasion to wear the club colours; one that the older generation relished, while the younger ones just enjoyed being part of. The track is the foundation for much of what can be achieved in the sport over the years ahead.
It is a work in progress, but a hub for those who want to enjoy running, those who have aspirations of competing at elite level and those such as Nicky Cowman and Toddy Moore who have given a life's service to the sporting community here in Co. Wexford and who continue to inspire the next generation.