(thanks to Carol Brady for the brilliant report and photos!)
The County Galway Community Games were held on Sunday the 4th of June 2023 in a very hot but very colourful Ballinderreen. The flags were up and the winners podium set up with a beautifully lined GAA pitch transformed for the day into a running track. This was a first for many of our young competitors running on grass and made the likes of hurdles a little more tricky.
With very large numbers in the U8, u10 and u12 boys and girls age groups each child had to go through a heat, semi final and then onto a final which were spread out over several hours on a very hot day. However our determined athletes battled it out with the best of them to come home with medals for Danny Langan 3rd in u8 60m, Max O’Riordain joint 3rd in the u8 80m. Fiadh O’Connor-Mullet put in a fantastic run but was only just pipped at the post to deny her a medal.
Shauna Langan having come 5th locally was called up to run the u10 100m. Although she had been a little nervous to start she had brilliant runs in her heat, semi and in her final. Again she only just missed out on 3rd place but watch this space.
Samuel Osawe ran an almost effortless heat and cruised to victory in his final of u10 boys 200m. A great athlete who had his choice of events to pick from but selected the 200m and it paid off for him.
Laoise Colleran left the rest of the field well behind her in her heat and again in the final to claim gold. She made it look easy.
Making runs look easy is also second nature to Alan Hallinan who claimed gold in the 800m with a great battle for silver that went on behind him.
Some of the more unusual field events such as the boys u12 Long puck took place in the centre of the field where the winner pucked a massive 85m. Dylan Doyle at only 9 in an u12 competition, did really well to hit over 50+m. Next year will be his year. Big surprise win for Sophie Mullane who came 1st in the u12 girls ball throw in a competition with larger, stronger girls but her talent prevailed to get a gold medal and she now is through to the All Irelands in August.
In girls u14 long Jump, Jenna Brady was disappointed with her 2 breaks but still managed to secure 3rd place with one good jump.
Hugo Johnston competed in the u14 boys Long Jump and now heads to the All Irelands with his shiny Gold medal.
Grace Drysdale breezed through the u14 girls 100m heat and hurt her leg in her semi but thankfully recovered enough to run straight into 3rd place and like her brother she too has another year at U14 next year.
Ciara Langan in the u12 girls 100m and Matthew Drysdale in the u12 boys 100m, both well under age, ran their socks off with Matthew progressing to the semi but just missed out on qualifying for the final.
Amberly Finn ran a tough 600m race but the pace became too much along with the heat on the day.
Aoileann O’Connor ran in the U14 girls hurdles and ran a really close race but banged a knee on one of the hurdles and was just denied 3rd place having to settle with 4th. Meanwhile in the boys U14 hurdles Sean Colleran again competing under age still powered through to come home with a bronze medal in 3rd place. He’ll be one to keep an eye on next year.
The podium was lit up with the yellow vests for the U14 boys Shot Putt with Max Madden leading the way winning a gold medal and Killian Burke also helped Craughwells medal tally with 3rd place and a bronze medal to add to the collection.Field events are straight through to the All Irelands in Carlow at the end of August.
U14 Javelin was up next with Oisin Molloy finding his niche in javelin and securing his place in the All Irelands with 1st place. David Osawe joined Oisin on the podium with 3rd place in the same competition.
U14 girls Javelin saw Shayna Greally win gold and progressing to the All Irelands without ever having formal training so watch this space to see her progress when she gets training on her new found piece of equipment.
Every child did their Craughwell proud in the effort they put into every event they took part in. We hope they all enjoyed themselves and that next year we will be able to field children in every athletic event.
There were some fantastic performances also from members of the athletic club representing their own parishes with Katie Considine (Oranmore/Maree) racing to gold in the U8 Girls 60m, Layla Whelan (Clarinbridge) doing likewise in the U8 Girls 80m, Con Clesham (Clarinbridge) taking bronze in the U10 Boys 100m, Abbey Clesham (Clarinbridge) taking silver in the U10 Girls 200m, Lily Clesham (Clarinbridge) taking bronze in the U10 Girls 60m hurdles (making it a great day for the Clesham family!), Lauren Kelly (Woodford/Tynagh/Duniry) racing to gold in the U12 Girls 100m, Penny Forde (Oranmore) close behind, Donal Coyle (Ballinderrin) taking gold in the U12 Boys 600m and Claudia Coyle adding futther glory for the Coyle family with gold in the U14 Girls 800m.