Scoil Colmcille, Letterkenny, Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Letterkenny and Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana will represent Donegal in the national finals of the primary schools’ sportshall athletics, after they secured county titles at a superb showpiece in the Aura Leisure Centre, Letterkenny on Monday.
Around 3,000 children from 54 schools took part in the Go for Sport Donegal Primary Schools Sportshall Athletics Programme which was rolled out across the county over the winter months.
Pictures by Danny Nee
Monday’s event saw 288 of the county’s finest up and coming athletes from ten different schools compete for four county titles.
Scoil Colmcille took the honours in both the 3rd and 4th class boys and 5th and 6th class sections; Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál claimed the girls 3rd and 4th class title, while Scoil Iosagain were crowned county champions in the 5th and 6th class category.
Addressing the pupils on behalf of the board of the Donegal Sports Partnership at the end of three hours of pulsating action, Eamonn Harvey congratulated all of the finalists.
“It’s an honour and an achievement that you have made it to these finals today. You are all winners, each and every one of you,” he said.
“For the last three hours you have all ran and jumped while competing. You also had some fun. And that’s what athletics is really all about. If you are not part of an athletics club, I would strongly urge you to join your local athletics club,” Mr Harvey added.
He also commended the teachers for their hard work in preparing the children for their respective regional events.
“The club coaches and the volunteers from Errigal College, Abbey Vocational School, Rosses Community School, Carndonagh Community School, Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny, St Eunan’s College and Letterkenny Institute of Technology all played a significant role in the successful running the regional events,” Mr Harvey commented.
All competing children received certificates to mark their participation in Monday’s finals. These were presented by double Olympian, Danny McDaid, Anthony Ward from Letterkenny AC, Dermot McGranaghan of Finn Valley, Brendan O’Donnell, Lifford and Strabane AC and Karen Guthrie from the Donegal Sports Partnership.
Donegal Sports Partnership Coordinator, Myles Sweeney said the Go for Sport Donegal Primary Schools Sportshall Athletics Programme is a great example of how various bodies can work together in the promotion of healthy activity at a young age.
“Go for Sport Donegal Primary Schools Sportshall Athletics Programme continues to bigger and better year on year. And that’s due to the efforts of many. This initiative was rolled out a decade ago and it has really caught on in so many schools. It’s very much a team effort, and the approach being adopted certainly appears to be working well.”
Mr Sweeney added: “It introduces school children to the many disciplines of athletics at a young age. There’s so much fun and enjoyment to be had by taking part and by being introduced to new sports indoors. It’s great for the Donegal Sports Partnership to link up with the Donegal Athletics Board for this hugely successful project.”
The full list of schools that competed in Monday’s finals was – Creevy NS; Dooish NS; Scoil Chróine, Dungloe; Scoil Colmcille, Letterkenny; Scoil Iosagain, Buncrana; Scoil Mhuire Gan Smál, Letterkenny, Scoil Mhuire, Ramelton; St Mary’s Stranorlar; St Mura’s, Tooban; St. Patrick’s, Murlog.
The newly crowned Donegal sportshall champions will travel to Athlone to compete in the national finals later this month.