Leitrim competitors have a very proud record in a wide variety of disciplines - here Toyosi Fagbo is in action in the Athletics Finals
Some of Leitrim’s greatest successes and probably the majority of the county’s All Ireland titles have come from Leitrim’s long involvement in the National Community Games.
Stars of the future are born and in many cases go on to represent their country but the biggest legacy of the games is the experience gained by all those who take part. In many other cases children gain a rich and meaningful experience putting their best foot forward to represent their area and then their county in the many competitions available.
Activities are both team based and individual. Most team events are run off first at area level with county winners progressing to Connacht finals and then winners of the 4 provinces playing in the All Ireland finals in August. Individual events are run off at local area level first with local winners and runners up competing in county finals.
For those interested in GAA the boys U10 competition provides many children with their first taste of competitive action and the skills and confidence developed can only enhance their interest in sport and self-improvement. It could be the foundation stone for our next Leitrim Connacht title.
Considering the number of times we have become All Ireland Champions in this competition, the future indeed looks bright. Leitrim have secured gold on at least 4 occasions and silver and bronze on as many more in the past 10 years, we should see some of these all Ireland Champions emerge onto the senior ranks very soon.
The same story can be told of the Ladies GAA with our county sides winning Connacht in successive years and going on to win All Ireland titles on many of these occasions.
In 2018 our big team successes came with Gold for the boys Futsal Silver for Spikeball, both sports that are not played regularly here in Leitrim but which have a lot in common with Soccer and volleyball respectively.
Competitions start at U8 and run up to U16, mostly with a two year gap to the next underage, although competitions like hurling and hurdles run at uneven ages.
Individual events include the widely known Athletics track and field with Leitrim boasting the current All Ireland Champion in the U16 Girls 1,500m in Niamh Carolan.
We have won numerous other medals across track and field and cross country with great talent and hard work being demonstrated right across the county. Local Athletics clubs provide the backbone of support for the athletic talent in the county and Community Games provides a platform for emerging talent from these clubs.
Swimming in Leitrim has gone from strength to strength taking home many Gold medals in recent years thanks to the local swim clubs preparing the kids so professionally in what is an extremely competitive sport.
Some competitions we haven’t taken part in include Projects and Debating so we would love to hear form anyone interested in co-ordinating these competitions and building the profile in the county.
We have the following areas active - Kinlough, Manorhamilton, Lough Allen, Drumshanbo, Ballinamore, Mohill, Carrick-on-Shannon with local committees running all the activities. If you are unsure which area you belong to contact any committee.
The local committees and the County Committee are there to ensure every child in Leitrim has the opportunity to take part in Community Games and find their work very rewarding. Many volunteers stay with Community Games long after their children have stopped being involved, Mary Keenan & John Joe Beirne again to mention a few.
In the current climate where health and fitness are being promoted and getting involved in a hobby or sport and being engaged in your community is viewed as key to our mental health and well being, Community Games takes on an important role in our lives.
Be part of the success story that is and will continue to be Leitrim Community Games
The current committee would like you to get involved in your local committee or there is a risk we will have no competitions at all in 2019! We need new parents to become involved locally to co-ordinate and run events, please contact us on our Facebook page or text to County PRO Helen at 087-2372438 and contact details for each area will be given.
Local areas will be holding meetings in the coming weeks so keep an eye out for the notices.