Pop down to Craughwell astro-turf any Tuesday or Thursday to witness the remarkable numbers participating in athletics training sessions. The place is thronged at 6.30pm on Tuesdays with over 60 children from 4th class upwards in primary school going through their paces for their various athletic events and they will soon be joined by the younger age groups in preparation for the outdoor track and field.
Pop up to the hall in Craughwell at the same time and a small group of 10 to 12 high jumpers are focussed on the technicalities of leaping over the bar. Pop back down to the school for the 7.30pm session to see 30 to 40 secondary school pupils arrive for their Tuesday training. Come back at 8.30pm as they depart and observe 60 to 70 members of Craughwell AC’s senior/fit4life club materialise out of the dark to run at different intensities for 30 to 40 minutes.
And it’s even busier on Thursday nights! Tonight, 25 first class children did their training in the hall at 6.30pm, with over 30 second class children going through their paces at 7.30pm. And when that was going on in the hall, almost 50 3rd/4th class children were training at 6.30pm at the astroturf and close to 60 4th/5th/6th class children at 7.30pm. Followed by a group of almost 30 secondary school athletes at 8.30pm and a group of close to 50 senior fit4life members at 8.30pm!
And that’s not all. Monday nights see around 40 members of the club (mostly seniors, with 1 or 2 juveniles) take part in circuit training in the hall, while earlier on Monday a group of 12-15 runners do speed-work at the school having progressed from fit4life to a higher level. The same group repeat this on Wednesdays and do a long run on Sundays, while about 25 members of fit4life get another run in on Saturday mornings, meeting at the school.
The place is buzzing with fitness and athletes and it’s great to see it!
Numbers wise, juvenile membership is now at its highest levels ever, having just surpassed last year’s numbers. It has grown in leaps and bounds since 2002 and will likely exceed 250 later this year. A huge credit is due to all of the coaches and coordinators in the juvenile club for this – I won’t mention any names as I will only forget somebody!
And the senior club has gone from a handful of members only 2 years ago to over 150 members today – to a large degree due to the Trojan efforts of Tony Nevin and Val Fogarty in leading the Craughwell fit4life activities and to Mark Davis and Josephine Gardiner in pushing people to their limits at circuit training.
It won't be long now before we have a senior club who can compete with the best. The senior members of the club are getting younger and the juvenile members of the club are getting older. Next year or the year after, they will meet in the middle and we will have super teams in both mens and womens categories contesting road races, cross country races and track and field meets.
So if you or your children are not already part of it, come down and participate! Forget the doom and gloom of the recession … be active and get fit.