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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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O’Connor’s college concert a resounding successAccordion maestro Liam O’Connor does not do things by halves.

He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel. While the concert was always about […]

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He proved it again last Thursday night when he hosted his ninth ‘Liam O’Connor Concert with St Brendan’s College Students’ in the school’s chapel.

While the concert was always about showcasing the students’ talents as musicians and singers, the guest list would not have looked out of place on Ryan Tubridy’s Late Late Show on RTÉ One.

The GAA world was represented by former Kilkenny hurling manager Brian Cody, Kerry stars and past students of St Brendan’s Dara Moynihan, David Clifford and Gavin White.

Of course, legendary RTÉ sports commentator Marty Morrissey was on hand to get the best responses out of the sporting stars.

O’Connor and his musical children Saoirse, Oisín, and Cillian who is a student of the college, weren’t even the top musical bill on the night.

That honour went to Paddy Casey.

“Casey royally entertained one and all, and our surprise guest, the RTÉ broadcaster Marty Morrissey, enthralled us with his views on Kerry footballers Dara Moynihan, Gavin White and David Clifford,” Liam told the Killarney Advertiser.

“A night of unbelievable synergies was completed with an abundance of local talent. It was a truly unique night of star talent that will live on in the memories of everyone who was there.”

Liam also paid special tribute to the college Principal Seán Coffey and music teachers Mish O’Donoghue and Niamh O’Connell for their colossal support.

“The students themselves were indeed amazing, with the energy they brought to their singing, dancing and playing music. Their commitment to the event was such that they generously gave up their lunch hours to help make it all work,” he added.

The success of the concert rounded off a busy year for the international-renowned accordion champion that included a high-energy appearance at Electric Picnic and an equally lauded performance with the Celtic Tenors at the rugby clash between Munster and world champions South Africa at Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork.

He and his son Oisín also made history in November when they became the first father and son pair to play both football and music at Croke Park on the same day.

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Marie was “lovely, unassuming lady”

By Sean Moriarty Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30. Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Tributes have been paid to Marie Murphy of Aughacureen, who died in tragic circumstances on November 30.

Marie was a member of the well known Murphy business family in Killarney – her brother runs KWD Recycling and she was heavily involved in the business.

She was best known for involvement in the local GAA both as a county star and a member of Fossa GAA Club.

She was a third generation Kerry footballer, her grandfather Con and father John all played football for Kerry.

She was extremely proud of her niece Abbie, her brother Seán’s daughter, when she became the fourth generation Murphy to play for Kerry.

Marie played for Kerry in 1976 and re-joined Fossa GAA Club in 2010 when the ladies’ side of the club was re-formed.

She acted as a mentor for current group of ladies.

Back in 2019 when Fossa GAA Club published a book to mark its 50th anniversary she was one of the leading lights on that committee.

This year, when the club held its Night of Legends to raise funds for a new dressing room for the ladies’ club, Marie was one of the guests of honour at the INEC event and was interviewed on the stage in front of a capacity audience.

Only a few weeks ago she was one of the many club members who helped organise the Fossa Golf Classic and acted as official photographer for that event.

“The club is numb with sadness,” said Fossa GAA chairman Dermot Clifford. “She was a loyal member and very proud of the club. Our thoughts are with her family. A lovely, unassuming lady who will be sorely missed.”

Marie will be sadly missed by her brothers Con, Seamus and Seán, sisters-in-law Breda, Gennie and Anna, her nieces Shauna, Amy, Kate and Abigail, nephews John, Jack, Luke, aunties Mairead and Maura, cousins, relatives, neighbours and a large circle of friends.

She was laid to rest at Old Aghadoe Cemetery on Monday following Requiem Mass at The Prince of Peace Church, Fossa.

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