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Lee striving for recognition as great athlete “full stop”

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An impressive jump of 1.90m was enough to secure a silver medal for Jordan Lee at the National U23 Athletics Championships, which were held at the Morton Stadium in Santry last weekend.

Lee was competing against able bodied athletes at the prestigious event and once again he showed that he can mix it with anyone in the country.

His best attempt on the day was second only to that of Ciarán Connolly at the U23 grade, and it was also good enough for an eighth place finish in the senior event, which was won by David Cussen.

The talented Killarney man is now ranked second in the WPA World Rankings.

Speaking to the Killarney Advertiser, the Killarney Valley AC athlete said he was happy with his performance on the day.

“My goal heading into the event was to jump 1.90m, which I ultimately did,” he said.

“That’s something I was really pleased about. Over the past couple of months I’ve been working really diligently on the technical aspects of my approach and when you’re working on anything technical, especially in athletics and the high jump, it takes a while. It’s a process - it isn’t going to happen just like that.

“It’s frustrating at times but it all came together last weekend. I have lots of positives to take out of it. I feel like I’m in PB shape but I’m still working on a couple of technical things. Once I get them right, I feel like I can jump a PB in the near future.”

Lee, who won bronze at the World Para Athletics European Championships in 2018, is keen to prove himself in competitions like the National Championships as he strives to earn recognition as a top athlete, as opposed to “just” a top para athlete.

“It means an awful lot to me to win medals in able bodied competition. It’s definitely something that I’m constantly trying to get across to people.

"I don’t want to be recognised as just a great athlete for my disability. I want to be recognised as a great athlete overall. Full stop.

"I’m trying to follow in the footsteps of people like Jason Smyth, who is visually impaired and is the second fastest man in Irish history.

“It’s great that I’m finally starting to get that recognition that I’m a good overall athlete, as opposed to just being restricted to competing in para competition.”

RIGHT TIME

Just like every other athlete in the country, Jordan is delighted to be back competing again after the lockdown and he says the reopening of his training facilities came at just the right time for him.

“The opening of the track has been a huge help. Actually being able to get proper contact on a track surface and to get that feeling of jumping over a bar has been a massive benefit. The plyos and all the training that I’ve done during lockdown have definitely helped me in the long run, but it was getting to the stage where I needed the feeling of jumping over a bar again.”

Looking ahead to the coming months and his ongoing preparations for next year’s European Championships and, of course, the Paralympics, Lee says much will depend on COVID-19.

“Myself and my coach Tomás (Griffin) are going to sit down in the coming days to see what the plan of attack will be. We’re aware that the Northern Irish Championships are on in mid-September and that is something that we might target, but we’ll have to suss out the logistics of that. We have to see if athletes from the Republic will be allowed to compete due to COVID regulations etc.

“Sunday could potentially have been my last competition of the year, which is a shame because I’ve only competed twice since the World Championships last November. It takes a couple of competitions to get into that good form. I definitely feel like I’m in PB shape. I just need to utilise my speed a bit more coming in towards the bar. Once I unlock that, I think I’ll jump a new personal best - hopefully two metres.”

This time 12 months from now the Paralympic Games will be held in Tokyo and though it’s still a long way away, Lee admits that the prospect of representing his country on the biggest stage is lingering at the back of his mind.

“An athlete’s ultimate ambition is to become an Olympian and that is a huge possibility over the next couple of months.

"I have an extra year to improve and develop. It’s exciting to say the least.

“I just need to keep the head down – I have the Europeans beforehand and I’d be hoping for gold there – but it does give me goosebumps every time I hear the Paralympics being mentioned.”

GRIFFIN

Meanwhile, Lee’s 16-year-old teammate Sam Griffin, son of coach Tomás, is the youngest athlete to make the national rankings following his sixth place finish in the National U23 Championships.

The long jumper came 15th in the senior competition with a jump of 5.62m.

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Killarney postcode V93 home to the county’s most-expensive properties

With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong. In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the […]

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With properties both for rent and for sale in short supply, prices in the Killarney area have remained strong.

In fact, houses with the V93 eircode were, once again, the most expensive homes in Kerry over the past 12 months according to data published by the CSO Residential Property Price Index. The report shows that in the year to December 2023, the average cost of buying a home in Kerry was €242,000 up 5% from the previous year’s figure of €230,000
Nationally that figure now stands at €327,000.
The average house price within the V93 eircode region was €284,000, 17% approx. above the average price for a home within the county.
With supply levels at an all time low and with very little new construction in the pipeline, there is little sign of this changing in the immediate term.

Commenting on the market, Ted Healy of DNG, has expressed concern with the low volume of properties available for sale at present.
‘We have lots of interested buyers seeking property in the Killarney area but unfortunately, we cannot satisfy the demand at present. The past 12 months has seen us securing sales in record time for record levels.”

DNG Ted Healy will be launching a new development of townhouses in the Woodlawn area to the market in the coming months and report that demand is exceptionally high.
The expect these properties to sell out in record time.
And with construction due to commence shortly on another scheme of detached houses on Muckross Road, it is looking like a busy year ahead.
However, this will not be enough to satisfy the demand at present. Properties within the V93 area are highly sought after and in very short supply, resulting in strong prices being achieved.
So is now a good time to sell your property? Yes, according to DNG Ted Healy who is actively seeking properties for sale to satisfy their ever expanding list of buyers.

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500,000 coffee cups prevented from going to landfill in Killarney

The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year. Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups […]

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The team behind Killarney’s ban on single-use cups is launching an adult education programme later this year.

Since its inception in July last year (up to December 31), 506,000 cups have been prevented from going to landfill or becoming litter in Killarney National Park.
Additionally, the scheme has saved 872,413 litres of water and 279 trees.
The decision to ban single-use cups was underpinned by complaints that some of Killarney’s most visited beauty spots were being polluted and studies of clean-ups in the National Park revealed that one of the most common forms of waste recovered was single-use coffee cups.
With this in mind, the team behind the project, in conjunction with the Munster Technology University, will launch an adult education programme.
Late last year secondary school students attended a series of workshops in Killarney House hosted by the Killarney Coffee Cup project.
The session began with the task of matching the common items of litter to the time it takes for them to decompose.
The items ranged from crisp packets, banana skins and single-use coffee cups. The aim of this activity was to highlight the importance of minimising waste and litter, to protect the unique Biosphere Reserve that is Killarney National Park.
The plan now is to roll out a series of workshops aimed at adults with support from the National Parks and Wildlife Service.
“This is still in the very early stages,” said project lead Louise Byrne who is also the Sustainability Manager at The Killarney Park and The Ross hotels. “Why should we care?”
Byrne cited a recent article by The Guardian newspaper in Britain.
“The entire lifecycle of disposable cups, from raw material extraction to production and transportation, requires significant energy, contributing to environmental degradation. The slow decomposition of disposable cups, especially those with plastic linings, can lead to the release of microplastics into the environment and on the off chance that your disposable cup winds up in waste bound for incineration, that process can release pollutants into the air,” said a report on coffee cup waste by the Kent School of Business and published in the London newspaper.
Byrne believes there is still far too much litter, including coffee cups, ending up disposed of in the National Park and this is one of the key drivers behind the new adult education programme.
Meanwhile the scheme won two more awards this week. Eco Hero group at the Outsider Magazine gave the scheme its Eco Hero award and the scheme won the Green Transformation Award at the Green Awards.

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