Athletics success celebrated in Taghmon
Scenes of great celebration were witnessed in Taghmon Community Centre when the local athletics club celebrated its year of success with an end-of-year Christmas party.
The members gathered in large numbers of the event with the underage section being particularly well represented.
The club is one of the most active and vibrant organisations of its type in the county and it enjoys a healthy level of membership which is increasing each year.
A spokesperson told this newspaper that the popularity of the club is on an upward spiral and that the athletes are broadening the scope of the organisation in terms of the number of competitions and range of disciplines they participate in.
'Our athletes have competed at different levels and in a wide variety of events,' she said.
'They continue to increase the scope of competitive events undertaken by our athletes,' she added.
'The number of athletes competing at the grass roots level is continuing to increase, which is fundamental to the ongoing development of the club.'
The spokesperson said everyone in the club is extremely proud of the athletes who took part in events this year and said they were exemplary in how they represented themselves and the organisation - particularly those who competed in events for the first time.
The ongoing success of the club in developing world class athletes was underlined this year by Aisling Kelly joining Padraig Hore on the Irish national squad.
While it was predominantly a festive party for all its members the club availed of the opportunity to present some of athletes with awards in recognition of their success throughout the year including Ms Kelly who won two Irish vests over the last 12 months and who represented Ireland with distinction.
Paddy Greene, who is a founding member of the club, was also acknowledged on the night for his contribution and commitment to the organisation - as was May Buttimer who was also involved in setting the club up.
The most improved boy was Alex O'Keeffe while Kayleigh Butler took the same award in the female section.
A special merit award was presented to Mary Hore and Ben O'Toole while Roisin Reville and Emma Creane were presented with special merit awards.
An attendance award was also presented at the event to Emma Creane while Hannah Kelly received the Taghmon Athletics Club 30 year trophy which is one of the most prestigious presented each year.
'Thankfully the club has once again built on the success from last year,' said the spokesperson.
'The continued growth in membership stands as a testament to the progress of the club,' she added.
She also emphasised that the focus of attention within the club is on promoting fun and activity among members while also catering for more seasoned and accomplished athletes in their overall progression within sport.