Congratulations to the Galway Minors on their outstanding success last Sunday in Croke Park and in particular the 4 lads from Craughwell and the many from neighbouring parishes. Seven of the panel were members of the athletic club in their younger years – Darragh Gilligan, Shane Bannon, Andrew Greaney, Brian Concannon, Liam Forde, Cillian McDaid and Jack Kenny – all of whom made telling contributions in the semi-final and final. While full-back Jack Fitzpatrick was a member of Athenry AC a few years ago.
With the primary schools cross country coming up shortly on 22nd and 29th September, a look back to when these lads were in 4th class in primary school makes interesting reading – with All-Ireland goal-scorer Brian Concannon taking 1st place in 2007 and Cillian McDaid and Andrew Greaney featuring on the Craughwell NS team who took the team gold in the same race in 2007. While the following year in 2008, Jack Fitzpatrick took the individual gold with another All-Ireland goal-scorer Liam Forde taking individual bronze.
Back then, all these lads showed plenty of grit and determination when training for and running cross country and demonstrated perhaps the greatest talent of all – the ability to work hard at their sport in order to achieve their potential. And they certainly did that last Sunday, so well done lads.
It’s something that parents might mention to their children who may be thinking of doing the upcoming cross country season – it’s good to work hard at your sport, it’s good to take part in these races, you don’t have to win, you just have to do whatever is your best and if you keep working hard at sport, you will do very well in the years ahead.
Not to mention the wonderful health benefits that it has for children and adults to be aerobically fit. How many adults discover this feeling in their later years when they start running distance races for the first time. We want our children to discover that feeling when young and keep discovering it throughout their young adulthood rather than waiting till they are 40 years old like a lot of us!