Good news came through today via Junior Minister Ciaran Cannon and via the Department of Sport website that the club has been approved for a grant of €16,000 for the purchase of sports equipment. It is planned to use the funds for the upgrading of our high jump equipment, purchase of competition-quality hurdles and purchase of pole vault poles.
It is no secret that the availability of convenient facilities locally to practise on a regular basis is key to success. That was proven with the purchase of our current set of high jump mats at the start of 2004, which are now close to end-of-life and have stood us in good stead over the years. They have helped to produce many National champions since 2004 including Cathriona Farrell who broke the National age group record as an U13 in 2004 with a jump of 1.53m and went on to finish 4th with a jump of 1.79m at the European Youth Olympics in Finland in 2009. That jump ranks Cathriona as the 8th best Irish jumper of all time.
The list of National High Jump Champions and medallists has grown considerably since 2004 to 15 athletes with many more having medalled at Connacht level. The following have medalled at National level (most in Ireland but some in England and Scotland also!):
– 2004: Cathriona
The new equipment will continue to help the club make progress in high jump with many age groups from U11 upwards practising it on a regular basis at present. It will also hopefully in time allow us to replicate our successes in the high jump and long jump in its sibling event – the pole vault. Possibly the most difficult event of them all, the club took its first steps in pole vault competition this summer with Maria McNamara competing in it a number of times in juvenile and senior competition, in the process clearing 2.40m – a height which already places her on the top 30 all-time Irish performances.
And the new hurdles equipment will hopefully do the same for the hurdles event – an event where the club has slowly being improving its performances and which saw Daniel Callanan-Forde brilliantly win the gold medal in the National U13 60m Hurdles during the summer.