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Athletics stars honoured at Killarney Valley awards night

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270 people from the club and the wider community attended the Killarney Valley AC awards night at the Great Southern Hotel in Killarney on Saturday last.

A very special treat for everyone attending was the premiere screening of a documentary that tells the story of the club’s high jumper Jordan Lee and his training through the Covid-affected period leading into the Tokyo Paralympic Games.

The documentary got a standing ovation from the huge audience who were all amazed at Jordan’s story of resilience. The club raised funds at the event for a very worthy cause, the Killarney Cardiac Response Unit, and their volunteers were also in attendance.

In his opening address, Club Chairman Jerry Griffin painted a picture of how the Killarney Valley AC club and athletes have enjoyed a meteoric rise this past few years with membership now standing at 370, including nine different nationalities.

In 2022, Killarney Valley was selected as the Athletics Ireland Development Club of the Year; earlier this year, Jean Courtney, the club secretary, was announced as the Sport Ireland Volunteer of the Year; and the clubs’ athletes secured a record medal haul of 47 national medals, 97 provincial medals and one European team medal in 2023.

Special Recognition Awards were presented to four members by Mayor of Killarney Brendan Cronin and they were interviewed on stage by 15-year-old club member Amy Garvanovic. Sarah Leahy, the club’s very first senior national champion, was honoured, as was Ciara Kennelly, who is the club’s first senior national medallist in the high jump, The achievements of European Youth Olympians Jason O’Reilly and Oisín Lynch were also recognised.

The evening concluded with a parade of the cups and titles won by the club in the Kerry Athletics Championships this year, and Badges of Honour were presented to all the athletes that represented the club at county, Munster, national and international level throughout 2023.

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Kingdom youngsters defeat Dublin outfit to capture Kennedy Shield

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Kerry won their first piece of Kennedy Cup silverware in seven years by defeating the North Dublin Schoolboys/Girls League (NDSL) by two goals to one at the University of Limerick.

After drawing with Tipperary South 3-3 and losing 1-0 to Waterford in heartbreaking fashion in the group stage, the Kingdom entered the shield. Goals by Thomas Keane and Donnacha Vaughan helped them to a 2-1 win over Carlow in the quarter-final, which set up a semi-final tie against Clare.

That clash with their fellow Munster men ended in a 1-1 draw at full-time (Jayden Hurley provided the Kerry goal) and so the match went all the way to penalties. Kerry held their nerve to prevail 6-5 and advance to the final.

Kerry started well against NDSL in the decider and goals via a Lachlann Scannell corner and Darragh Keane gave them a 2-0 lead inside 11 minutes.

The Dubliners pulled one back in the second period but the Kerry lads showed courage, heart and plenty of skill to hang on and capture the coveted shield.

Congratulations to players and management on a fantastic achievement.

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Silver and gold for Muckross rowers at Munster Branch Regatta

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Muckross Rowing Club had a large contingent of crews competing in the recent Munster Branch Regatta held at the National Rowing Centre in Cork.

The event was the latest in an action-packed regatta season for the club that has already taken in regattas in Limerick, Leitrim and a number of events in Cork.

The club enjoyed a very successful outing with three wins, four second place finishes and 11 further crews placing third in race finals.

The club was especially successful in the Men’s J18B Double event, taking both gold and silver in the final with four crews from the club among the final six. The other two golds for Muckross were secured in the final of the Men’s J16 Double and the Men’s J14 Quad.

The club is now looking forward to its next regatta, another outing to the National Rowing Centre for the two-day Cork Regatta. The Cork Regatta is scheduled for this Saturday and Sunday, June 22/23, with 28 Muckross crews entered.

The Cork Regatta also takes in a round of selection trials, with a number of Muckross rowers in contention for selection to national crews.

The final weekend of June is then among the busiest for the club. On Saturday, June 29, the Rowing Ireland 1k Classic in Lough Rynn, Leitrim is the top national event for Junior 14-15 and Masters crews. And on Sunday, June 30, the historic Killarney Regatta will see local rivalries renewed in the contest for traditional ‘Sixing’ races. The Killarney Six style of traditional rowing boat is now unique to the town.

The busy spell of competition for the Muckross club then leads on to the ultimate national contest: the Irish Rowing Championships in mid-July.

WINNING MUCKROSS CREWS: Men’s J18B Double – Seán O’Donovan, Cillian Leslie. Men’s J16 Double – Ronan Fahy, Cian Scannell (Muckross A). Men’s J14 Quad – Aaron O’Connor, Connor Duffin, Oscar O’Sullivan, Aaron Hegarty.

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