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Student hoping to kickstart innovative 3D project

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By Michelle Crean

One bright student is hoping her new product will change the way people with mobility issues write, draw and paint.

Final year Industrial Design student in GMIT, Mckella Daly, had to create a new, innovative product in response to the ongoing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic.

After some inspiration and research she came up with a 3D printed assistive device which is aimed at helping people of all ages and abilities who want to express themselves creatively.

And she is now hoping to raise €10,000 to make her dream a reality and to achieve this has set up a Kickstarter campaign called 'Saor Dexterity Assistive Product'.

The unique circular grip allows the user to hold the product in a way that does not affect the natural clenched shape of their hand, Mckella explained.

"It is also helpful for people with arthritis and limited dexterity or fine motor skill issues. Saor is 3D printed in a durable, sustainable material that is also affordable. It makes it easy to adjust to the users' needs."

INSPIRATION

The inspiration for the unique design came from a nine-year-old child with Cerebral Palsy.

"I saw him write his name for the first time in his life!"

As her final year project was based on the difficulties caused by the pandemic she decided to focus on children who are considered vulnerable, mainly those with Cerebral Palsy, and from her research, she explains that it was clear that there are challenges, now more than ever, within the disability sector from medical challenges to isolation.

"After interviewing a number of children and their parents what became obvious was that they were struggling with home-schooling," McKella said.

"There is a huge financial strain on parents to buy specialised equipment that is necessary for their child and they have lost all of their therapies due to the pandemic whether that's occupation therapy, physiotherapy or speech and language therapy. From here, I decided to concentrate my design on the loss of occupational therapy and home-schooling. Many children with Cerebral Palsy struggle with a lack of mobility and find it difficult to hold a pen/pencil in a conventional way. This is where Saor came from."

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Fossa’s marathon man competes in Vienna

By Sean Moriarty They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria. Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world. On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon […]

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By Sean Moriarty

They are a familiar sight on training sessions out the Fossa way, but last weekend two Killarney marathon runners made themselves known in Vienna, Austria.

Tony Harty (Fossa) and Seamus Murphy (Milltown and Glencar) train together and travel together to international marathons all over the world.

On Sunday they contested the Vienna Marathon with Tony recording a personal-best time of 2hrs and 45mins. He finished second in the Over 45 category and 27th overall, while Tony completed the course in 3hrs and 3mins.

“You won’t see one of us without the other,” said Tony.

Niall Thompson of Killorglin was also competing in the event.

Tony is a member of the well-known Harty family of Waterford. His two brothers Phillip and William and sister Rebecca all raced for Ireland.

Tony took up running later than his siblings and contested his first marathon in 2015 when was 39-years-old.

Now 45 he cannot stop running and takes in at least two overseas marathons every year as well as Irish and local events.

“It is all part of the experience,” he told the Killarney Advertiser. Both he and Seamus have previously contested marathons in Barcelona, Valencia and Rotterdam and he intends to return to Spain in early December for another crack at the Valencia event.

He prepared for Sunday’s race by winning overall at the Churchtown 5-mile race in Cork last month and the Antrim Half-Marathon a few weeks ago.

“Vienna was very hot, up to 26 degrees, and lots of people were suffering,” he added. “Vienna was supposed to run in April but it got deferred. We prefer running in cooler conditions. Valencia will be around 10 degrees in December which is ideal.”

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Jordan’s new role with St Paul’s

By Sean Moriarty Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club. Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level. The High Jumper then switched […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney’s Paralympic hero Jordan Lee is to take on a new role with Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club.

Jordan began his sporting career with the local basketball club where he created history by becoming the first amputee athlete to represent their country at international level.

The High Jumper then switched to track and field and qualified for the Tokyo Paralympics where he made history by becoming the first Kerry athlete to act as a flag bearer for an opening ceremony and lead an Irish team into an Olympic Stadium.

Now back home and preparing for the next Olympics in Paris, he has returned to his first love and will join the backroom staff at the local Division One basketball club ahead of their National League campaign which begins next month.

His father Jarlath Lee is head coach with St Paul’s.

“Jordan is joining us as our strength and conditioning coach,” Jarlath told the Killarney Advertiser.

INTERNATIONALS

Meanwhile, Scott’s Lakers St Paul’s Killarney Basketball Club National League team will have a distinctive feel to it this year after securing the services of three overseas players it for the season ahead.

The club’s biggest signing is Canadian professional Ben Miller. It was originally hoped that the former two-time Manitoba Player of the Year would play for the local side last season but the pandemic got in the way and the National League was never played. However, he did play two training games this time last year before returning to Canada until travel restrictions lifted.

“He is a good guy, very approachable and very good with the young members,” Jarlath said.

The club has also signed Bulgarian International Emilian Grudov.

The 20-year-old has already represented his home country at U16, 18 and 20 level.

“He is young, athletic and very good offensively,” added Lee.

The returning Lithuanian Dianius Varanaukus completes the club international line up for the 2020/21 season.

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