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Killarney Valley AC launch exciting new ‘match’ event for kids

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Kerry’s budding athletes are set for some real excitement over the coming weeks thanks to an innovative new style of competition created by Killarney Valley AC.

Eager to expose their stars of the future to the thrill of team events, KVAC have issued an invitation to other local clubs to face off in a two-hour, multidiscipline contest. These “matches” will be staged at Killarney Valley’s state-of-the-art arena with juveniles from U9 to U14 taking part in events ranging from 60m sprints to field events.

Athletes will earn points for their clubs based on their performances and the club with the most points at the end of match will take home the Ahern’s BMW Cup, as well as a set of gold medals.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser this week, Tomás Griffin of KVAC explained the concept of these fun-filled match-ups, and how the idea first came about.

“Usually kids prepare for County Championships or Munster Championships, but that stuff happens later in the year,” Griffin said. “Their opportunities to build confidence and experience in competition, or something that looks like competition, are very limited.

“As a club we said, ‘we have the facilities, let’s try to be creative and see what we can do’. Our goal was to give the kids a glide path into the bigger competitions that will come along, and also to reinvent the sport in terms of how kids and parents view athletics in general. That’s really how the idea for the matches came about.”

Following on from the club’s participation in the recent National Indoor Track and Field Championships, which is an adult/over 16 team event, KVAC decided to mimic this format for their younger athletes.

Match 1 of this series has already been scheduled: KVAC will take on St Brendan’s Ardfert this coming Saturday. Griffin is hopeful that more clubs, from Kerry or beyond, will put their names forward in the coming weeks.

“We have sent an open invitation via Athletics Ireland and our own social media channels,” Griffin explains. “We’re hoping that other clubs will come to us and challenge us to a match. We will then schedule the matches as the requests come in.

“Thanks to the generous sponsorship of Ahern’s Motor Group, we will be hosting these matches free of charge for all the participating clubs. Parents can come and watch their kids enjoying a team competition and team environment.”

There is a perception that some full-day athletics events can be a little drawn out, so to combat this KVAC’s matches will be completed in two hours. This, Griffin says, will add to the entertainment value for children and parents alike.

“We’re hoping to have somewhere in the region of 50 of our kids participating on Saturday. For a lot of them, it will be their first experience of a track match. They will all be contributing – every athlete’s score in every event matters.

“We believe the format will keep the children and the spectators engaged.”

If your club is interested in taking on Killarney Valley AC in a match, please email killarneyvalleyac@gmail.com.

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30 years of Innisfallen Island MassThe annual special concelebrated Mass on Innisfallen Island takes place next week.

Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm. Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by […]

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Next Friday (June 21), members of the public are invited to attend the Mass taking place at 6.30pm.

Now in its 30th year, the Mass was originally an idea by Geoffrey O’Donoghue who sadly died four years after it began.

“There was an Augustinian Monastery on Innisfallen Island and the people, including priests and monks and they say Brian Boro, went out there to study. The lake, Lough Lein is called ‘The Lake of Learning’,” said his wife Mary who carries on the tradition in his memory.

“My husband Geoffrey was a descendent of the O’Donoghues and he wanted to have Mass on the island. The O’Donoghues built Ross Castle and owned the lands and the lake surrounding it which was later donated by John McShane to the people of Killarney. He [Geoffrey] asked one of the friars and one day he got a call from the OPW that there would be a plaque unveiled to John McShane and they asked if the Mass could coincide with it. It was attended by Sr Pauline, John McShane’s daughter.”

She added that all the public are welcome to attend. Boats, which will have a nominal fee to cover their costs, will be carrying passengers out from 4pm onwards.

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Photo of “hidden gem” wins Camera Club’s latest competition

A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition. Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the […]

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A photograph of one of Killarney’s hidden beauty spots was deemed the winner of Killarney Camera Club’s most recent competition.

Th standard was high throughout all categories but in the Novice category, Iryna Halaieva’s photograph of O’Sullivan’s Cascade was deemed the winner.

“A waterfall is my favourite waterbody and long exposure is my favourite photographic technique,” she said. “I do my best to have as many waterfalls as possible in my photo collection. I heard a lot about O’Sullivan’s Cascade and wanted to visit that hidden gem of Kerry. So, shortly before our club competition I went with a friend to Tomies Wood to photograph it. It was a dream come true for me.”

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