The Loftus Report: Sun kissed Juvenile Open Sports

Kevin Loftus reports: Today, on this gloriously sunny Sunday, the inaugural and extremely successful Clonliffe Harriers Juvenile All Medal Open Sports took place today in a picturesque Morton Stadium.  The event incorporated competition for both new and experienced athletes between the ages of nine and fifteen, inviting runners, throwers and jumpers alike to participate in a comfortable and inclusive environment.  This unrestricted meet afforded many newly aspiring children the opportunity to take part in as many competitions available, thus encouraging them to find a potential passion in one or more disciplines of athletics.

Organised by the wonderfully enthusiastic and wholly motivational Juvenile Captain Gladys Cooper, the Open Sports itself was without doubt a superb triumph.  Impeccable punctuality and efficient time management ensured a completely seamless transition between each race run on opposite ends of the track, each leap in the long jump pit and each throw in the shot put grounds.  Officials facilitated athletes and spectators with genuine sincerity, positively contributing to the welcoming atmosphere, especially for first timers.  Officials today were pleasantly surprised by the number of entrants currently unattached to a club yet emerged victorious in various events.  Determination and drive were two characteristics associated with each and every competitor which is outstanding to see at this grassroots level.

In each straight final and every age category, individual and unique medals were awarded to the top three finishers courtesy of our club President, Paddy Marley and the recently elected President of Athletics Ireland, Georgina Drumm.  Conditions, much like the athletes themselves, were simply spectacular.  The scintillating smells of both sun screen and sandwiches wafted throughout the glowing stands, with family and friends gathered to cheer on the hopeful contenders.  Whether relaxing on the grassy embankments that surround the stadium reading the paper, or tearing down the home straight to a thunderous applause, sounds of inspirational contemporary pop anthems resounded for all to hear throughout the grounds.  Commentary of the day’s proceedings came from the highly respected and professional Gary Cooley MC.  Event organisers hope that this authentic experience will serve as foundation for children interested in and excited by the sport of athletics.

With safe and secure surroundings assured, parents of athletes competing benefitted from somewhat of a respite, marking this as a fun filled day for all the family.  Though only in its first year of development, club members at today’s event remarked on the growing potential of an event of this kind.  It is at this point that Clonliffe Harriers would like to express our sincere gratitude to AIB for sponsoring this event and to Georgina Drumm for her support. The club would also like to thank our fantastic club members for giving up once again their time in helping to facilitate this event.  It is the collective involvement and cooperation that makes meets like these a success.  For the Clonliffe Harriers Juvenile All Medal Open Sports today was an outstanding opening and will go on to even greater heights in the future.

Kevin Loftus

To view photos from today`s event by N. Guiden click: