Saturday, December 22, 2012



 by Bridget Clarke and Maggie Higgins

The secondary schools Track & Field competition was held on 18th April in Claremont Stadium.  18 schools were involved this year, the same number as last year.  St Patricks Classical School took the boys’ school title a first for them and Scoil Mhuire retained the girls’ title for the second year.
The secondary schools Cross Country competition was held on the 17th November.  This was our third year to run this competition in November.  Unfortunately there was a secondary schools soccer tournament on the same day in Gormanston and it did take from the numbers that competed on the day.  However, 20 schools did compete, an increase of 4 on last years figures and some schools had more athletes competing than in previous years.  As always the grounds and conditions at Gormanston College were in perfect condition.
The final of the primary schools Cross Country competition will take place next March.  The wet weather conditions has played havoc with some of the preliminary rounds.  It is hoped to run the primary schools relay competition shortly after Easter.  Details will be circulated nearer to the time.
There has been much discussion about the Little Athletics Programme in the primary schools and it has been agreed to now shift the emphasis onto the secondary schools.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul, Moira and Maria for the great presentation of athletics that they gave to both the teachers and children.  It is both essential and beneficial to be able present children with the option of athletics as well as the other usual sports.  Hopefully the secondary schools will be as receptive as the primary schools to the programme.    
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all the girls in the office, in particular Ita and Oprah, who do a lot of work in the organisation of our two secondary school events.  Thanks also to all the volunteers from the clubs who help out at all the events, without whose help it would be impossible to organise.
It has been said that the above schools competition do not benefit the county or clubs in that we do not gain any new athletes from them.  Yes maybe we do not gain in numbers however, the schools certainly appreciate these events.  While there are individuals within the schools willing to promote athletics is it not our duty then as a county to aid them in that.  If we as the athletic board are not willing to promote athletics then who will?  We constantly give out about the lack of promotion athletics gets within the media so if we stop the little we are doing, we will become invisible.            

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