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



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


New  bio-energy therapy clinic open on Beech Road

Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily? Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which […]




Have you ever wondered what happens when you deal with an emotionally charged situation or experience high levels of stress daily?

Your mind sends alarm signals to your body which must adapt to this emergency mode.

Muscles tense up, heart beats faster, vessels get compressed, blood pressure rises, body retains water etc. Most of us subject our bodies to this emergency mode without being aware of it.

Irina Sharapova MH has just opened a new Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy clinic at Horan’s Health Store on Beech Road by appointment each Friday.

Both Herbal Medicine and Bio-Energy Therapy, support the body’s natural ability to heal.

During a herbal consultation the therapist suggests necessary corrections to the client’s diet and lifestyle aiming at reducing the elements that contribute to inflammation, stiffness and pain, and increasing the elements that aid healing.

Then they prepare herbal remedies specific to the client. Client’s medications are also examined to ensure that there are no conflicts with the herbal treatment.

Herbs support healing by relaxing the body and improving sleep; they are used to treat various ailments from digestive and reproductive issues to insomnia and migraines.

Bio-Energy therapy is a complementary non-contact treatment that helps to release tension from the body caused by injuries, traumas or stress.

During a Bio-Energy session the therapist scans the client’s body for signals that indicate that the energy is not flowing smoothly – these are the areas that have reacted to the Client’s emotions of fear, worry, hurt, anger, sadness etc.

The therapist “clears out” these areas until the energy flow feels smooth. Bio-Energy is helpful in the treatment of physical and emotional pain and other ailments.

It is suitable for people who do not like massages and other treatments that are performed directly on the body.

Disclaimer: Alternative therapies are not substitutes for medical advice.
For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact Irina at 086 9878941 or via email at Website:


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Spotted an otter lately?

Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals. The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching […]



Users of Killarney National Park are being asked to keep an eye out for otters – one of the country’s rarest mammals.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service IS launching a new National Otter Survey and has teamed up with researchers in Queen’s University Belfast and the National Biodiversity Data Centre to collect and collate otter records from right across the country.

The new survey will map otters and compare results to the last survey, carried out in 2010-11.

NPWS teams will be looking for characteristic signs of otters at over 900 sites throughout the country, including rivers, lakes and the coast.

Members of the public are asked to keep their eyes peeled for otters and to get involved in this national survey by adding their sightings to the survey results.

Otters are mostly active at night and most typically seen at dawn or dusk. They may be spotted from bridges swimming in rivers or along the rocky seashore.
Otters are brown, about 80 cm (30 inches) long and can be seen gliding along the water surface before diving to show their distinctive long pointed tail which is almost as long again as their body.

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“The otter is one of Ireland’s most elusive animals so getting as many people involved in the survey as possible will be important if we are to get good coverage. Otters are rarely seen, so instead, over the coming months, NPWS staff will be searching for otter tracks and signs.”

Dr Ferdia Marnell, Mammal Specialist with the NPWS, said:

“Otters have large, webbed feet and leave distinctive footprints, but these can be hard to find. Fortunately, otters mark their territory using droppings known as spraints. Otters deposit spraints conspicuously on boulders along riverbanks, logs on lake shores or the rocky high tide line. Spraints can be up to 10 cm or 3 inches long, black through to white but commonly brown, tarry to powdery in consistency and straight or curved making them tricky to identify. Luckily, they commonly contain fish bones and crayfish shells which are the otters favoured diet making them easy to tell apart from the droppings of birds and other mammals.”

The otter and its habitat are protected under the EU Habitats Directive which requires that Ireland reports on the status of the species every six years. The next report is due in 2025.

The otter suffered significant declines across much of continental Europe during the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s but remained widespread in Ireland. The most recent Irish survey (2010-2011) found signs of otter from all counties of Ireland and from sea-shore to mountain streams.

The otter hunts in water, but spends much of its time on land, and as a result is vulnerable to river corridor management such as culverting, dredging and the clearance of bankside vegetation, as well as pollution, pesticides, oil spillages, coastal developments and road traffic.

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