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Showtime Lakers bringing Killarney together

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How did we survive for almost a decade without National League basketball?

Last Saturday night’s league decider was just the latest in a long line of thrilling spectacles at the Auracle and, just seven months after reforming, the Lakers have firmly re-established themselves as Killarney’s favourite sports team.

Another huge crowd turned out to see Cormac O’Donoghue’s side duke it out with Kilkenny and the atmosphere in the fourth quarter was really special.

There’s just something about the back-and-forth nature of basketball that lends itself to great drama and excitement and those final few minutes were some of the most enjoyable I’ve experienced in a long time.

The Lakers are the only team Killarney has at that level so there’s a real sense of community at these games. It’s very different to other sports in that regard. With football and soccer, there are multiple clubs so the fan bases are divided. As we all know, there are fierce rivalries in Killarney and rivalries tend to breed bitterness.

At St Paul’s games, there’s no Legion or Crokes or Spa or Athletic or Celtic. There’s a lot of love in the building. It’s refreshing.

Personally, I love covering the basketball because, unlike football and soccer, no one in Killarney can accuse me of being biased (or not biased enough). Which is great. Also I love basketball, so that helps.

It’s a major regret of mine that I never took it up when I was younger. I’m jealous of the local boys like Flip and Mark Greene to be honest. The Lakers are without question the best Killarney team to play for at the moment. Athletic are second, obviously. (Legion juniors third.)

After starting reasonably well, the Kilkenny game looked to be slipping away from the Lakers. They trailed by 11 with six minutes to play and the energy was fairly sucked out of the building at that stage. The visitors started to tire, however, and with 3:30 on the clock, the gap was cut to just five.

In arguably the most important play of the game, Mark Greene, who was excellent all night, intercepted a pass and was fouled in the open floor. The Lakers, who are normally very good free throw shooters, had been struggling from the line all night so there was an air of trepidation in the building. Greene was unaffected. He steadied himself and drained the pair of them to make it a one-score game.

Antuan Bootle hit two free throws and all of a sudden it was 80-81. The next play down, Kilkenny stifled the Lakers attack but Dan Griffin gathered a rebound, turned and threw up a fadeaway jumper as the shot clock expired. It went in and the place erupted. (Check out my Twitter video on @AdvertiserSport if you get a chance. Scenes.)

Dailian Mason made a three shortly after and the game, and Shield, was won.

They now have a home League Cup quarter final against the fourth place team from Division 1A, IT Carlow. That tie will take place Sunday at 11am. Win or lose, this will definitely be the last home game of the season as the semis and final are on up the country.

From speaking to the players, the leagues themselves (i.e. Division 1A and Division 1B) and the President’s Cup seem to be the priority but I’m sure they’ll be going all out to challenge for this trophy as well. I think you could already call their first season back a success but there’s till time for it to get even better.

Fixture:

Tomorrow Sunday at 6.30pm

League Cup Quarter Final

Scotts Lakers v IT Carlow

(Killarney Sports and Leisure Centre)

The winners will play in the semi-finals in Tallaght on Monday at 11am.

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How to boost your immune system with nutrition

By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability. While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, […]

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By Tara Tangney from Activate Fitness

The immune system is precisely that — a system. To function well, it requires stability.

While there is no magic bullet for increasing immunity, there are ways to keep your immune system strong so that you are better prepared to fight off infections and heal quickly.

As long as your immune system is running smoothly, you don’t notice that it’s there, but if it stops working properly – because it’s weak or can’t fight particularly aggressive germs – you get ill.

Without an immune system, we would have no way to fight harmful things that enter our body from the outside or harmful changes that occur inside our body. Here are five ways to ensure you support a good immune system coming into the wintery months:

1. Eat More Vegetables

While all vegetables have health benefits, some pack a more powerful immune-boosting punch than others. Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, and other cruciferous vegetables are rich in fibre, phytochemicals, vitamins, and minerals. Vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach and tomatoes are rich in beta-carotene (vitamin A), which helps regulate the immune system and protect against infections.

2. Eat Balanced Meals

Include all macronutrients in your meals. Protein is particularly important for healing and recovery. Protein sources include leaner sources of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, milk, beans, soy, nuts and seeds. These foods are also good sources of zinc, a mineral that promotes healthy immune function and aids in wound healing. Healthy fats are also essential to support our immune health. Try to include a variety of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats in your daily diet. These are found in avocados, fatty fish, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. These foods provide good fats but are also rich in phytonutrients and fat-soluble vitamins. For example, a small handful of nuts such as almonds is a great source of vitamin E. Wild-caught salmon is one of the only foods naturally rich in vitamin D. Fatty fish are also rich in essential fats called omega-3s, which are known for their multiple health benefits.

3. Regular Exercise

Exercise is one of the main aspects that support a healthy lifestyle. Regular exercise promotes cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and offers protection against a variety of diseases. And just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to a healthy immune system, improves blood circulation allowing immune system cells to move through the body more freely and do their job more effectively.

4. Good Quality Sleep

Getting enough sleep has many health benefits. The lack of sleep puts your body into ‘fight or flight’ mode, releasing adrenaline and increased stress hormones into the body. Research shows that in general, adults need at least seven hours of sleep for optimal health and well-being. As we sleep our immune system works to heal and repair the body. A few tips for getting a good night’s sleep include avoiding caffeine in the evenings, turning off your screens (TV, laptop, phones, etc.) well before bedtime and sleeping in a cool, dark room.

5. Manage Your Stress

You may not often think about how stress affects your ability to fight off infection, but your state of mind can have a significant impact on your health. When you are experiencing more stress, your immunity is compromised, which puts you at a higher risk of getting sick. Managing stress may help you fight germs and infections. Stress management techniques include breath work, meditation, yoga, moderate exercise, walking etc. Having a support system of close friends and family can also help us feel connected and stay strong throughout stressful times.

Although there is no magical potion for immunity, you can take these five steps to boost your immune system which is very important as we enter the colder and darker mornings of winter. Don’t underestimate your lifestyle’s impact on your ability to help keep your immune system strong. Good nutrition, quality sleep, and managing stress can all have a significant impact on your health. If you need help with your nutrition, send us an email at nutrition@activate.ie and we will be happy to help you!

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Ireland’s newest and toughest cycle will be a thrilling challenge

Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist. Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare […]

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Ireland’s newest cycling event comes to Kenmare this month with an exciting and challenging course for the experienced cyclist.

Already attracting attention within cycling communities around the country, Velo Kenmare will tackle some of Kerry’s toughest climbs and highest mountain passes.

Taking place on October 22, Velo Kenmare is an 135km timed loop route starting and finishing in Kenmare. The total climbing distance is 1,650m, and organisers hope to appeal to serious cyclists who are looking for a new and thrilling challenge.

No stranger to cycling events, Velo Kenmare is being managed by Elite Events Management, who also successfully deliver iconic cycling events Wicklow 200, Ride Dingle and the Ring of Beara Cycle.
Cyclists are encouraged to register for Velo Kenmare on the Velo Cycle Ireland website www.velocycleireland.ie but places are limited for the enjoyment and safety of all participants, and anyone interested is urged to sign up soon as places are filling up.

TOUGH CLIMBS

​​​​The tough enough mountain climbs are over Molls Gap, Ballaghbeama Pass, Ballaghasheen and Coomakista. The route will take in breathtaking scenery Kenmare is famous for, and incorporating some of the most stunning parts of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ring of Kerry. It is hoped visitors to the cycle event will be encouraged to stay for a few days, and will all be given €20 vouchers or ‘Velo Dollars’ to spend in local shops which will be redeemable against goods and services in Kenmare.

Riders will be allotted a time slot to allow for a staggered start, taking them along a fully marshalled route, with medical cover, bike mechanic support, and hot food and entertainment at the finish in Kenmare.

Making its mark, Velo Kenmare participant race packs will come inside a yellow Velo Kenmare water bottle and finishers’ medals are in the shape of a yellow cow bell. Prizes will be awarded for the quickest top three male and top three female finishers, and fastest male and female will be awarded the title of King and Queen of the Kerry Mountains.

Experienced cyclists are encouraged to take on this exciting new challenge, testing themselves and their clubmates for the fastest finish across these four gruelling climbs, through some of the most beautiful landscape in the country for the best welcome back at the finish.

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