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Rathfarnham Athletics Review 2013

ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

12 pages of interesting facts figures & photos of club activities during 2013 1 SEAN HEHIR WINNER DUBLIN CITY MARATHON

Sean Hehir winner Dublin City Marathon With Noel Carroll memorial trophy Picture by Sportsfile


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CLUB SUPPORTED ACTIVITIES ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013 athfarnham AC agreed to host the Dublin intermediate CC Championships R in Tymon Park in December 2013. The process was started in November by organising the date, insurance and safety statement with the SDCC. Ar-

workload but was considered worth the effort.

rangements were made for wood chipping to be placed on the paths, securing of necessary race poles etc. The soccer and GAA clubs were informed that a large number of people would be in the park on race day. . On the Friday before the event it was checked and confirmed that the chipping was in place and all ready. It was also agreed to host the Dublin non even age juvenile CC Championships on the same day. This involved 12 races from U9 to U19 over different lengths from 800mts to 6000mts The courses were measured and laminated maps were produced for the officials. It was decided to have separate race locations so that both could run simultaneously. This increased the

The Juvenile area was ready by 9:30am and the Intermediate area by 12 noon. The park gates were opened at 10 am and parents and children filled the area in minutes which was an amazing sight. The races started on time at 11 am and our stewards marshalled the juvenile races. The ladies intermediates 4 Km race was started at 1.50 pm while the boys U19 race was still underway and this required switching of duties. Instructions were left with the club members helping with the Juvenile race to collect all poles, race tape and stack poles in two heaps. A rapid tour of the intermediate course was necessary to ensure everything was still in place. Following the Ladies race the Men’s 8 Km was started.The course was checked and positions were stewarded by race marshals. When the last athlete finished the dismantlement of the intermediate course was commenced with the help of members. , the poles stacked in the car and black sacks of rubbish collected. The items belonging to SDCC. were returned to the Park Rangers. Other items belonging to Rathfarnham were then returned to the club house. The borrowed poles were packed into groups and returned and

Advertisement

TRAINING ISSUES TO KEEP IN MIND BY

ADAM Applying the same continuous pressure to weak and underdeveloped muscle groups as to strong and tight groups can have only one result. Muscle imbalance injuries and overuse injuries are common to many athletes.

W

e would all love to run faster, that is the ambition of every athlete. To achieve this we train harder and longer. For some this works but for others unfortunately it does not. The usual reason is injury or physical breakdown. . This means that our physique is not able to tolerate the pressures exerted by the type and volume of training undertaken. . When training is resumed fitness has regressed by several weeks or months depending on the nature of the injury. ertainly not in all cases, but

STEPHEN GAFFNEY LONG JUMPER

This is so because no one has a perfect body. There are muscle imbalances in both length and composition in all muscle groups. 2

TRIPLE JUMPER SPRINTER NATIONAL SENIOR BRONZE MEDAL WINNER FOR LONG JUMP.

and hence the imbalances. The areas of weakness are generally hamstrings, gluteus, lower back and most of what are referred to as the core muscles. But it is not at all inevitable. There are simple exercises which performed correctly on a regular basis will over time adjust most imbalances and prevent many of the niggling injuries. plank and plank progressions, lunges in all directions, squats in many variations, dead lift and progressing to clean first and second pull. Taking a strength and conditioning plan on board could be the key to a long and successful athletic career.


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RATHFARNHAM ATHLETICS REVIEW 2013 ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

Welcome To The Inaugural Annual Rathfarnham WSAF Athletics Club 2013 News Review

W

e are an athletics club based in Main Street, Rathfarnham village catering for athletes of all ages and abilities. Our athletes take part in a wide variety of events including cross country, track, road and mountain running. including juveniles, juniors, seniors and masters. 2013 has been another very successful year for the club, in which our athletes continued to excel in all levels of athletic competition with numerous achievements in a range of championship events.

Cover Picture Page 1 Training & Activities Page 2 Editorial Contents Page 3

This inaugural issue of the news review includes an overview of some of the key achievements during 2013 for all our athletes, an introduction to the management and coaching team, a feature on our annual 5K road race which was held in September, an opinion piece, and some helpful tips on how to maximise your athletic potential. Also included is a profile of Sean Hehir, one of the club’s most successful athletes and winner of this year’s Dublin City Marathon. We look forward to another great year in 2014. Happy training and racing!

Rathfarnham 5K Race Page 4

Whilst our athletes put in many hours of training each week a huge debt of gratitude is due to the coaches and management team of the the club. This is sometimes thankless work but without it there would not be the structures which enable the club to function successfully. A big thank you to all who contributed to this news review, without your contributions the pages would be very sparse, and especially to Zoe who chased everyone to get contributions in.

Management Team Page 6

Profile: Sean Hehir Page 5

Juvenile Athletes Page 7 Junior Athletes Page 8 Senior Men Page 9 Master Athletes Page 10 Women Athletes Page 11

3

THE CLUB’S LOCATION IN RATHFARNHAM

THE CLUBHOUSE ON MAIN STREET, RATHFARNHAM VILLAGE

Opinion Page 12


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RATHFARNHAM 5K ROAD RACE ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

PJ CLAFFEY, RACE DIRECTOR, REPORTS ON THE 2013 RATHFARNHAM 5K ROAD RACE & FUN RUN

O

n a calm and mild day in September a record number of 1,144 runners completed the Rathfarnham 5K. They were led home by Mark Christie from Mullingar Harriers in a time of 14.37. Mark had previously won the race in 2009 and was second in 2008. Second home was Brian Maher from Kilkenny City Harriers in 14.40 and Conor Dooney, Raheny was third in 14.53. The ladies race was won by Ciara Durkan from Skerries AC in a time of 16.34. Annette Kealy from Raheny Shamrocks finished second in 16.54 and Maria O'Sullivan, also from Raheny, third in 17.34.

Shane was also first finisher in the men's over 40 masters category. Raheny Shamrocks were second and Donore Harriers third in the men's team event. In the ladies team race Crusaders were first, Donore second, and Tallaght third. The Rathfarnham ladies team of Vanessa Sallier, Amy Cooke and Helen Ingram were fifth. David Scanlon was second Junior man and Jonathan O’Donoghue was third. Niamh McLoughlin was second Junior lady home and Susan Fitzharris third. A total of 43 Club members competed; this was the highest number of host club participants to date. There were 172 finishers under 20 minutes and 470 under 25 minutes; this is indicative of the fast course and standard of entries making it the fastest five kilometre road race in Ireland.

WOMEN’S WINNER CIARA DURKIN The race starts on Springfield Avenue downhill to Rathfarnham Bridge, left onto Rathfarnham Road, left turn in Terenure and along Templeogue Road, with Bushy Park to the left. The course repeats itself again along Dodder Park Road to the finish. The last one hundred meters of the race is lined with cheering supporters and friends. The run has developed over the years to include top class club runners from all over Ireland and also attracts many local runners, joggers and walkers. A large proportion of the entry comes from the local area. The race is also well supported by nearby athletic clubs;

RUNNERS

RACE WINNER MARK CHRISTIE We are grateful to our sponsors: who provided the Tee-shirts and some of the category prizes. As previously we are happy to support the Friends of St. Luke's Hospital Rathgar. The full results of the 5K are in the Rathfarnham Results Archive section of the club web site. Photos from the race are in the Gallery and on our Face book site at Rathfarnham AC. The 2014 Rathfarnham 5K will be on Sunday 28th September, a date for your race diary.

APPROACHING THE

FINISH LINE

FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY

THE LEADERS AFTER ONE HUNDRED METRES

4

FINISHERS

ENJOYING

REFRESHMENTS POST RACE


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SEAN HEHIR: OUR CLARE CHAMPION ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

MICHAEL GYGAX PROFILES SEAN HEHIR, ONE OF THE CLUB’S TOP ACHIEVERS IN 2013

S

ean Hehir grew up in a house full of sports fanatics, in a small rural community in County Clare. and now in her mid-fifties still competes at the highest level at European and world masters level. His father won two league titles playing hurling for Clare. Growing up, Sean cycled and walked everywhere. His family home was a hive of activity, going to training and coming from training. At weekends, it was playing small games and big games in a variety of sports. Sport is in his blood and it was only a matter of time before it emerged which sport he would excel in and at what level. He learnt early on that success and failure are interchangeable but if one hangs in and believes that . He won his first county title in the under 15 cross country. While at competitions he was inspired by another Clare man, Seamus Power, a legend in Irish cross country running. Seamus dominated cross country running in Ireland for a decade.

The team went on to win silver medals. His transition from junior to senior was not an easy one and for a time it appeared that Sean was happy to be a recreational runner. He badly needed a rudder to direct him and motivate him. He had come to Dublin to engage in teacher training. His running career was at an impasse. He walked into Rathfarnham Athletics club one evening and it appeared that the local friendliness that he was used to in Clare had transported itself to this club. He speaks of Adam Jones with warmth and affection. “An extraordinary man with a wonderful vision, who steered me in the right 5

PHOTO: CLARE PEOPLE direction, when there was definitely a fork in the road.” Sean now holds club records from 3 km to marathon. His breakthrough came in 2009 when he won the national intermediate cross country. This success bred an ambition to win a national title and he did just that when winning the national half marathon in 2011 in a fine time of 65.24. This helped Rathfarnham win the team title. One often has to take risks to develop and adapt to racing at the highest level. Sean has been steadily increasing the volume and intensity of his training over the past number of years, to be as good as he possibly can be. He had planned to run in the Rotterdam marathon twice, but never reached the line due to injury. Sean winning the Dublin City Marathon in 2013 will go down as one of his finest moments. It is already part of the folklore of Rathfarnham, the history of great Irish success in the Dublin City Marathon, and it forms part of the history of Dublin city itself. Sean’s ambition is to make the Irish team which will participate in the European Marathon Championships in Zurich during the summer of 2014. This is a team event, a race in which he believes Ireland can medal. First he has to break the qualifying time of two hours seventeen minutes for the marathon.

Track: 800mts 2:00 1,500mts - 4:00 3,000mts - 8:22 5,000mts - 14:32 10,000mts - 30:15 Road: 4 miles 19:03 10 km 29:43 10 miles 49:25 Half Marathon - 65:11 Marathon 2:17.35 All Ireland Intermediate Cross Country Champion 2009 All Ireland Half Marathon Champion 2011 All Ireland Marathon Champion 2013 Winner of the Dublin Marathon 2013 All Ireland T&F Championships 10,000mts 2011 Bronze medal Leinster and Munster Cross Country Champion 2011 All Ireland Half Marathon 2012 Bronze medal All Ireland Marathon 2012 Silver medal All Ireland Inter County Cross Country 2012 Bronze medal European Cross Country Championships 2012 52 nd place All Ireland Half Marathon 2013 Silver medal

Sean is building strength and endurance, as he prepares diligently on a daily basis for next year and beyond..

JOE SWEENEY, SEAN HEHIR & SERGIU CIOBANU


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MANAGEMENT, COACHES & CLUB CAPTAINS ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

A TEAM OF SIX MANAGERS ELECTED AT THE AGM EACH YEAR ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR RUNNING THE AFFAIRS OF THE CLUB IN CO-OPERATION WITH A TEAM OF CLUB COACHES, CAPTAINS, AND

The Development Manager is responsible for developing a recruitment plan, greater community involvement in the club, upgrading and maintaining club facilities, and purchase of athletic equipment in liaison with the Coaching and Finance Managers.

The Finance Manager is responsible for administering club funds, maintaining a record of income and expenditure, preparation of financial accounts, fund raising, and coordinating the purchase of club gear.

OTHER VOLUNTEERS.

The Coaching Manager is responsible for coordinating all coaching activities in the club, preparation of programmes, appointment of club captains and child welfare officers, and team selection for AAI championship events.

OWEN MCLOUGHLIN

The PR Manager is responsible for projecting the image of the club in a positive and progressive light, publicising club activities through the public media, club web site and social media networks, acting as a media spokesperson when required, and liasing with the Events Manager to promote events sponsored by the club.

PETER MCDERMOTT

The Events Manager is responsible for organising and managing all events in which the club is involved. This includes The Club Annual 5K Road Race and other athletic events in which the club undertakes participation. The annual road race is the main function and this is now a major event in the club calendar.

ADAM JONES

Duties of the Administration Manager include keeping the Management informed of all activities related to the club, correspondence, submission of entries for championship races, registrations, transfers, maintaining a membership record, ensuring the club is represented at AAI affiliated meetings, and organising social events.

P J CLAFFEY The President is responsible for representing the club at official functions, motivating the Management and Members to achieve excellence in everything they do on behalf of the club, and being in a position to advise and offer guidance as necessary.

ZOE MELLING CLUB CAPTAINS

DEREK BAIN 6

Club Captain (Senior Men): Jason Reid Club Captain (Masters Men): John Farrelly Club Captain (Women): Clare Sullivan

Marathon & Master’s Coach: John Farrelly Coach to Juniors: Philip Halpin, James Wright Senior Men & Women’s Coach: Adam Jones Juvenile Coaches: Jackie Sullivan, Catherine Long, Helen Ingram, Miriam McCormack, Laura Flynn, Eamonn Tierney, John McHugh, Eric Cullen, John McCabe, Tom McGrath


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JUVENILE ATHLETES ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013 JACKIE SULLIVAN COACH OF JUVENILES REPORTS ON A VERY SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR OUR JUVENILE ATHLETES. JUVENILES START AT EIGHT AND CONTINUE UNTIL TWELVE BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS.

DURING 2013 WE

HAD AN INCREASE IN NUMBERS AND ALSO MANY MORE OF THE JUVENILES TOOK PART IN COMPETITION.

2

013 has been a great year for our juvenile athletes. We have had many new members joining the club, and now have a record number of young keen athletes at training. Our juveniles train hard in the Castle grounds on Monday and Wednesday evenings. The emphasis is mainly on running, but they have also practised hurdles, long jump, high jump and the mini javelin. We have had some improvements to the club, and

Although the emphasis is mainly on improving athletic performance, they have lots of fun too! They are all tired but happy at the end of the training session when they return to the club house for their well deserved lollipops! Many of our juveniles have represented the club at various events organised by the Dublin Athletics Board and AAI. These include the Dublin juvenile indoor track championships, the Dublin athletic board juvenile league, the National juvenile indoor championships held in Athlone and the Dublin juvenile cross country championships.

The Club was represented by the following: Abbey Kelly, Ella Pasley, Elena Cullen, Jaden Chambers, Patrick Kelders, Clodagh Cullen, Lorna Sheehan, Caoimhe Kelders, Ellie Stapleton, Saoirse Kelders, Conor McAree, Sophie Richie, Lucy Richie, Zak O'Connell, Connor Edwards, Fionn Quigley, Hannah Bury, Alex Bury, Kiki Needham, Bill Needham, Alannah Faserfied, Fiona O'Regan, Isabella Doyle and Jack Burke. We are all very proud of the wonderful performances by all who represented the club. Special mention goes to Conor Edwards who won the under thirteen 600 metre at the Dublin juvenile indoors in Santry in February. Also to Lucy and Sophie Richie for wining individual medals for the club. Lucy won a medal in the 1000 metres under 10 race at the Dublin juvenile cross country in November in Raheny and Sophie won a medal in the 1500 metres under 11 race in the juvenile cross country in Tymon Park in December.

UNDER 11 GIRLS’ TEAM AT THE DUBLIN JUVENILE UNEVEN AGES CROSS COUNTRY

TYMON DECEMBER: FROM LEFT FIONA O'REGAN, CLODAGH CULLEN, SOPHIE RICHIE AND LORNA SHEEHAN CHAMPIONSHIPS IN

PARK

IN

We will then have a break from training until the New Year. A huge "WELL DONE" to all our juvenile athletes.

UNDER 10 & UNDER 11 GIRLS AT THE FINAL JUVENILE CROSS

PHOENIX PARK IN OCTOBER

COUNTRY LEAGUE IN THE

SOPHIE RICHIE WITH JUVENILE COACHES LAURA FLYNN AND JACKIE SULLIVAN WITH THE MEDAL SHE WON IN THE UNDER

11 GIRLS 1500 IN THE DUBLIN JUVENILE CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS 7

AN EVENING OF FUN FOR ALL CHRISTMAS

AT THE JUVENILE

PARTY


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JUNIOR ATHLETES ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

JUNIORS COACH PHILIP HALPIN OUTLINES THE KEY ACHIEVEMENTS FOR THE CLUB’S JUNIOR ATHLETES

REVIEW

OF JUNIOR

CHAMPIONSHIPS IN JUNIOR

ATHLETICS – RATHFARNHAM

OISIN JOYCE HAD A VERY GOOD YEAR WINNING FOUR CHAMPIONSHIP MEDALS IN

2013

T

he junior athletes continue to progress and 2013 was another successful year for the junior section of our club. We won a team medal (bronze) for the first time in the Dublin Junior Cross Country Championship.

At the National Junior Cross Country Championship David Scanlon finished 14th and won gold as part of the Dublin cross country team. David also took gold in the Leinster indoor 3,000mts earlier in the season.

D

AV ID WI SC NN A E ME R O NLO D N FG O F AL A S P OL D T H CR OS E DU ART SC B OU LIN NT TE AM RY

Oisin Joyce had a very good year winning four championship medals in 2013 (including silver in the U 18 3,000mts at the Dublin T&F championship) and competed in the U 19 National Cross Country Championship. Tom McGrath finished 2nd in the U 16 Dublin indoor T&F & Richard Keogh was 4th in the same race. Jonathan O’Donoghoe was 2nd in the U 18 000mts at the Dublin indoors. Shannon Behan was 5th in the U 16 800mts at the Dublin Indoors and Niamh Tynan 4th in the U 17 800mts. Roisin Long was 2nd in the U 18 1500mts at the Dublin T&F championship. All our athletes competed very successfully again for their schools (e.g. Terenure College, St Louis, The High School, Templeogue College, CUS, Gonzaga) in both schools cross country and schools T&F championships in 2013. We look forward to further success and increased membership in 2014.

Jonathan O’Donoghoe finished 12th in the National U 18 cross country championship and was third in the Dublin U 19 championship. The U 19 boys team (Jonathan O’Donoghoe, Paul Tierney, Oisin Joyce, Wren Fernandez, Andrew Burke and Donal Murphy) took silver medals in the U 19 race.

MIT

CHE LL B BRO YRN NZE E ME D AL W T E AM INN DUB ER I LIN N JUN CRO IOR SS C OUN CHA TRY MPI ONS HIP

8


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SENIOR MEN ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

MEN'S CAPTAIN JASON REID SUMMARISES THE MAIN EVENTS OF 2013 FOR THE CLUB’S SENIOR MEN EOIN FLYNN NOW RESIDENT IN GRAN CANARIA HAS HAD A VERY SUCCESSFUL 2013

2

013 has seen the Rathfarnham senior men's team continue to progress. The squad has trained hard throughout the year, and has been rewarded with a string of successes on both an individual and on a team level. This has included many of our athletes notching up breakthrough performances and, in doing so, bringing each other along. In terms of individual highlights, Eoin Flynn backed up Paul Stephenson's third place at The National Novice Cross Country Championship in December 2012 when he claimed a bronze medal at the National Inter-club Championships in March.

SENIOR

MEN'S

COMPETED IN

TEAM WHO NATIONAL INTER

CLUBS

where they claimed silver and bronze medals respectively. Sean Hehir capped off another successful road racing season with a win at the National Marathon Championships in October. These athletes have set the benchmark for the rest of us to aspire to. We've also had a number of team successes over the year, including a bronze medal at the National Inter-club Cross Country Championships, a silver medal in the National 10,000 m Championship on the track, a silver medal in The National Half Marathon Championships, and a silver medal at the National Novice Cross Country Championships.

STEPHEN GAFFNEY & GER CLAFFEY AT ATHLONE INDOOR ARENA

However, it hasn't all been plain sailing for the team. and at times we've fallen short of our own expectations. After disappointments at the National Road Relay and the Dublin Cross Country Championships, we have identified areas where improvements are needed, and have plenty to build on. As a squad we will draw on all of these experiences to improve our performances in 2014. It's clear from the results that we have the potential as a squad to compete with the best, and to win the big championship events. We have learnt that more planning and hard work is required to ensure that we are prepared as a team to perform at those races that count. This means deciding on our team goals at the beginning of each season, developing a common training strategy and then working together to achieve those goals.

Now it's up to us to make it happen. It has been a privilege to captain this team of committed athletes and friends in 2013. I look forward to running with you all again in the coming year.

MEN'S DUBLIN NOVICE TEAM

9

NATIONAL NOVICE MEN'S SILVER MEDAL TEAM


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MASTER ATHLETES ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

MASTERS

COACH JOHN

FARRELLY REPORTS ON THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE MASTERS MEN IN

2013

013 was yet another successful year 2 for our master athletes, in which over fifty men won championship medals in a variety of events.

OWEN MCLOUGHLIN, JOHN MCCABE, JOHN MCHUGH, STUART MCCLEAN AT THE NATIONAL MASTERS INDOOR

The athletes in top form this year were: (M35) all round performer (M40) the second lightest master on earth! (M50) the older he gets the faster he gets! M50) still getting PBs! Here are just some of the great performances listed below.

(M40) Gold Medal 400M (M35) Gold Medal 3000M (M55) Gold Medal 400M (M50) Bronze Medal 400M (M40) Bronze Medal 800M (M35) Bronze Medal 1500M (M50) Bronze Medal 1500M (M55) Bronze Medal

THE GOLD MEDAL WINNING MASTERS TEAM AT THE NATIONAL ROAD RELAYS: SHANE O’NEILL, PAUL FLEMING AND RONAN KEARNS At the masters road relays in Raheny. The O/35 team of Shane O Neill, Paul Fleming and Ronan Kearns won gold. The O/50 Team won silver: John McCabe, Tommy Bishop and Joe Casey. Ronan Kearns (M35) won bronzer in the 800mts at the National track and field championships. Paul Moran (M50) won silver in the Dublin Marathon and Colm Murray (O/45) won individual bronze . We had some great performances at both Leinster and Dublin Championship events, winning medals medals on the track, road and cross country. At the British and Irish international cross country meeting in Cardiff, Paul Fleming, Shane O Neill and Gerry Doyle won medals for Ireland. We are preparing for 2014 and looking forward to continued success.

TRACK AND FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS IN ATHLONE

PAUL FLEMING WITH HIS GOLD MEDAL IN THE (M35) 3000 MTRS AT THE NATIONAL MASTERS INDOORS CHAMPIONSHIPS

1500M

SHANE O’NEILL, SECOND OVERALL IN THE LEINSTER OWEN MCLOUGHLIN IN ACTION AT AIT ATHLONE 10

TOMMY BISHOP, JOHN FARRELLY, EOIN MURRAY AND JOHN MCHUGH

MASTERS CROSS COUNTRY IN

DUNBOYNE AND WINNER OF THE (M40) CATEGORY


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FEMALE ATHLETES ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

LADY CAPTAIN CLARE SULLIVAN REPORTS ON A SUCCESSFUL YEAR FOR THE CLUB’S WOMEN ATHLETES

T

he ladies section of Rathfarnham athletics has active senior and masters members. The focus for the ladies teams includes cross country, road racing, and track meetings. Many ladies also compete in mountain running. During 2013 Rathfarnham ladies participated in the Dublin, Leinster and National Intermediate Cross Country. Also in the National Inter Club Cross Country, Dublin and Leinster Novice Cross Country and Dublin and Leinster Masters Cross Country. On the road the ladies fielded three senior teams and one masters team in the National Road Relays in addition to one senior and one masters team in the National 10 km Road Championships. The ladies had one masters team for the National Half Marathon Championships and also a number of individuals who successfully completed the Dublin City Marathon incorporating the National Marathon Championships.

VANESSA SALLIER, CLARE SULLIVAN, VALERIE MCGUINNESS 11

Notable performances in 2013 include 4th team position for the senior ladies: Clare Sullivan, Valerie McGuinness and Eimear Fitzmorris, in the National 10 km Road Championships. In the same race, the masters team, Vanessa Sallier, Helen Ingram and Joanne Hope, also finished in 4th position.

In the Dublin marathon Maria Dolan ran a personal best of 3:06:34 to finish in 2nd place in the F45 category. Vanessa Sallier has been running strong throughout the year taking a number of medals including 1st in the 800mts masters indoors, a county team medal in the Leinster masters cross country for Dublin and represented Ireland with Zoe Melling at the World masters mountain running championships. Catherine Devitt was selected to represent Ireland at the Snowdon International mountain race and with her Irish team mates finished in second team position. Maura Kearns, Lorraine Nolan and Grainne Connor have all taken prizes at road races throughout the year. Aisling O'Connor and Amy Cooke have shown good potential in recent cross country competitions and Ciara Hassett has brought good strength and experience to the cross country team so far this year.

ZOE MELLING, CIARA HASSETT, LORRAINE NOLAN, AISLING O’CONNOR, VALERIE MCGUINNESS

CIARA HASSETT, AISLING O,CONNOR, VALERIE MCGUINNESS, AMY COOKE, CLARE SULLIVAN On a more recreational level, many ladies from the club participate in the weekly park run in Marlay park. This is sometimes followed by a post park run breakfast at the Marlay park market on Saturday mornings. The ladies are also active socially as there is a biannual ladies dinner. Early in 2014 the club ladies have plans to start up a ' ' series of training sessions. This will encourage new members to join and get involved. 2013 had many promising moments from the ladies in the club and there is the potential for much success in 2014.

MARIA DOLAN, VANESSA SALLIER, HELEN FRENCH


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Opinion Column by John McCabe

ISSUE 1 | DECEMBER | 2013

POOR QUALITY OF LOCAL TRAINING FACILITIES

and the provision of necessary sports facilities is vital to maximising these benefits according to the National Sports Facilities Strategy 2012-2016. One of the main objectives of this strategy is to provide facilities at national, regional and local level. It is at local level that is of interest here. Even though there has been a substantial investment in sporting facilities over the last decade, there has been an unacceptable failure in providing basic athletic training facilities (never mind athletic tracks) in many parts of the country particularly South Dublin. This is a damning indictment of national governments, local authorities and other bodies responsible in this area. A recent research study, a report on participation and drop-out rates in sport and physical activity, highlighted a number of reasons why young adults drop out of sport such as moving from primary to secondary school, doing state exams, lack of good physical education in schools etc but failed to recognise the lack of and poor quality of local training facilities.

However, against this background, many sporting associations and clubs, particularly Athletics clubs, have made do with sub-standard training facilities.

For many Athletic clubs, finding suitable training areas and surfaces is a problem. For example, in my own club, Rathfarnham WSAF, the juvenile athletes train in the grounds of Rathfarnham Castle, as this is the only option available nearest to the clubhouse. However, the quality of lighting in the grounds is very poor which affects the safety and quality of training. Even the senior and master athletes are not spared. During the winter months they train in Nutgrove park where again lighting is a problem. In the summer months, they train in Bushy Park where another problem is encountered, the very poor conditions of paths in the park. It is very difficult to understand that in a park that is so extensively used by runners, joggers, walkers etc, we find possibly the worst public paths in the country with gaping potholes and rough uneven surfaces.

and making improvements to the paths. However, they have encountered problems with a lack of capital funds being a reason put forward as to why this work cannot be done. It is recognised and understood by the club that in the current economic climate there will be a lower investment in providing sporting facilities over the coming years and that value for money is critical when spending taxpayers’ money. But surely making funds available for these essential improvements, would qualify as outstanding value for money, enabling athletic clubs, boot camp groups, joggers and walkers alike to enjoy physical activity in a safe and comfortable environment. This would play an important part in encouraging children and adults of all levels to take up physical activity and for those already involved to continue participating into the future.

, in doing so, light up the lives of our young children and adults and smooth their paths to greater glory. John McCabe is a member of Rathfarnham Athletics club where he is a Masters athlete and a Juvenile Athletics coach.

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Rathfarnham wsaf newsletter dec 2013