A large enthusiastic crowd (young and old) gathered in the OLG clubhouse gymnasium for a truly special occasion on Sunday last. The Kilkenny contingent of the Leinster Special Olympics Team was greeted with whoops and hollers as they took to the stage to uproarious applause from the eager crowd. The hall was expertly decked out in bunting and props representing a whole range of sporting activities. The team is all set to take part in The Special Olympics All-Ireland Games, starting on June 12th next.
Gerard Byrne from The Village was first to be introduced – he raised his arms aloft & proclaimed he was going for gold! Conahy’s Lisa Coogan followed and she promised to do likewise in the University of Limerick pool. Michael Dwyer from the Kells Road has his spikes ready and is primed to explode out of the blocks on the U.L. tartan track. Robbie English (Clara) is strongly tipped in the pool and one to watch for. Derek Fitzpatrick of Castlecomer & Loughboy is a sharp shooter on the soccer pitch while Kilkenny’s Jimmy Kelly is looking forward to giving his all in Athletics.
Niall Kenny got a large ovation, due to being a local boy and OLG member – he promises to run like the wind! Bennettbridge’s Gerri Kinsella is all set to take the pool by storm and the Village’s Mark Leahy is set to do likewise on the soccer pitch alongside his partner – Dungarvan’s T.T. Nolan.
Diarmuid O’Flynn from the Village was busy helping Brian Cody pick the Kilkenny team due to take on Clare later that day but promised to give his all for Kilkenny and Leinster in the swimming pool in June. Bernie O’Shea (Clara) is ready to roll that bocce bowl closest to the jack to ensure she’ll have a place on the podium. But the biggest cheer was reserved for veteran Special Olympian – Joe Walsh (Castlecomer). Joe (73) has been to many Special Olympics – he started out as a sprinter but the clock on the wall has meant he has had to slow things down – a little and is now participating in the fast walk!
Our athletes were joined on stage by famous champions across a wide range of sports – Hurling, Gaelic Football, Camogie, Handball, Rugby, Boxing, Athletics and Martial Arts. The highlight of the afternoon was undoubtedly the closing finale – the Olympic Parade. Gary Gordon of An Garda Siochana brought the famous Olympic torch into the hall and the Special Olympians lined up behind it. They then proceeded through the hall and up on to the stage - to the sounds of Chariots of Fire. O’Loughlin Gaels would like to take this opportunity to thank all involved in what was a truly special occasion and to once more – wish our Special Olympians the very best for Limerick.
Three from Three
O’Loughlin Gaels made it three wins out of three in Kilmanagh on Saturday night last against a dogged Tullaroan outfit. Six points banked, surely secures top flight hurling for our St John’s Parish boys, in what is a very competitive division.
U14 Camogie team played Tullaroan last Wednesday night in St John's Park and lost by a goal on a score line of O'Loughlin Gaels (3-1) Tullaroan (2-7). The girls are away to St Fiachres on Wednesday night in the 4th round of the championship.
U10 Camogie V Danesfort
Last Wednesday (7th May) the O'Loughlins under 10's started off their season with an away fixture against Danesfort. The friendly game was played in great spirit and the girls in green did themselves proud. In the first half Danesfort started strongly and as time went on, the pressure they built up led to scores. While O'Loughlins never really threatened the goal area in the half, some excellent play in the midfield prevented the game from getting away from them. Faye Fennelly, Grace Sheridan and Eva Prendergast let Danesfort have nothing easy. Emma Flyson White defended very well and Ava O'Grady and Ava Vaughan contributed very well. In the second half other players got to shine with some positional changes and the fact that Danesfort made changes of their own. Abby Ware and Tara O'Keeffe made and impact on the goal and the forward line for different periods. Riona Crowley was excellent for finding space to drive the ball either into the goal or into the forwards. Sinead Dowling, Leah Hanrahan and Emma Butler were busier in the second half too. Overall, it was a good first outing and O'Loughlins may have done enough in the 2nd half to sneak a win.
Johnswell 10K Challenge
Johnswell 10k Challenge & 5K Fun Run Sunday 8th June 1pm. For more details please see: www.facebook.com/pages/Johnswell-Fun-run. Proceeds are in aid of Johnswell Community.
Health and Wellbeing – Suicide and Depression Awareness
On Monday last, 28th April, the Launch of the Kilkenny GAA Health and Wellbeing programme dealing with "Suicide and Depression Awareness in your Club" was held in the Springhill Hotel in Kilkenny. This was the first in a series of presentations under the rollout of the GAA's National Health and Wellbeing Programme.
Its Aim is to Promote Positive Health and Wellbeing in our Clubs and Communities by Providing Advice and Support to the Officers in Every Club in this crucial area over the next twelve months. Joe Malone - the Clubs Designated Officer, and Paul Cleere - Games Development, Coaching and Policies attended on behalf of O'Loughlin Gaels on the night and an invitation was extended to all coaches in the North of the Co. to a further information event, which was held on Tuesday 13th May.
Summer Camp Registration
It’s time to register your child for Summer Camp with O’Loughlin Gaels. Week one runs from August 5th to 9th and week two runs from August 11th to 15th. Applications have been distributed and the deadline for registration is fast approaching – June 20th. Please check our website www.oloughlingaels.gaa.ie & facebook page for more info.