COMMUNITY GAMES 2019
ALL THE THRILLS AND SPILLS FROM A SUPER DAY IN SHILLELAGH
IT was a day that had just about everything a sporting event can possibly offer - high drama, excellent running, smiling faces, tears of defeat, close calls, runaway winners, proud parents, consoling hugs and tender words, moments of humour, friendships rekindled, parental panic when a child can’t be found, trays of hot chips and pre-packed picnics and the heart-warming sight of a coffee machine sitting reassuringly in the corner under the leafy shade of those beautiful trees in Shillelagh. God bless the Community Games! And god bless coffee!
From early morning the competitors arrived in their droves. Yes, numbers were down this year with the loss of BBK from the competing clubs but there was still a mighty crowd of young athletes from under 6 all way up to under 16 and their families and supporters from clubs such as Westside, Lakeside, Rathdrum, Baltinglass, Enniskerry, Aughrim/Annacurra, Roundwood and Shillelagh.
A riotously colourful parade got things underway from 10am with Bill Porter manning the microphone and taking the crowd gathered all around the GAA pitch through the day. Rather fittingly it was Enniskerry who took the ‘Best Parade’ award having arrived with a superbly made giant dragon figure that they maneuvered around the field. The late Lily Kavanagh who passed away last week was from Enniskerry and would have been hugely proud of the club’s achievements on the day.
Shillelagh picked up the runners up award from the parade and shortly afterwards the action got underway in the various disciplines.
There were rapid sprints and thrilling relays. There were fallers and stallers and ballers and entrallers. There was long puck endeavours and the long jump delivered, the odd javelin was flung and sad laments they were sung.
Ice-creams were devoured and horizons checked for rogue showers, sandwiches were downed and sorrows were drowned, hearts filled up with pride and sheer impossibility defied and laughter sounded light on the gentle June breeze.
It was a beautfiul day. Volunteers toiled under pressure while Bill Porter proved he’s a messer. Delighted children clambered up on the podium or sought the refuge of Mammy as dreams came true and were dashed and all in the name of fun and games.
Main pic: A Westside athlete clears the hurdles during the 2019 Wicklow Community Games in Shillelagh on Saturday. Inset: Roisin Houlihan and Yasmin Dagge celebrate.
Long jump champion Patrick Sheey, Lakeside, with Sheila Driver.
This athlete had time to pick some flowers during races.