It has been another epic week in sport, form the tour de France, to the all-Ireland Hurling semi-finals to the National championships in Morton stadium. We complain that we have very few people involved in sport that we don’t have the talent, what about Dan Martin in the top 10 finishers in the cycling in the tour de France, to Rory Mc Elroy runner up in the British open, Ireland brought home the most medals from the European Junior Athletics championships this year more than any other country in Europe. What is it about this small island off the coast of Europe with a tiny population? How many European Rugby cups have we won or contested in the last 10 years? If you look at Munster alone, we are punching way above our weight in Hurling three Munster County’s contesting the All-Ireland Semi- finals which were both epic battles and one still undecided and with Cork, Clare and Limerick showing massive improvement in the last few years. Last month 125 million euro’s was earmarked for the development of athletics, athletics has been starved of funds for so long and the scandal with our Olympic council chairperson in Rio was no help. But where will the money go, are there structures in place, this is an organisation built on volunteerism we have only a few running tracks scattered around the country. Nenagh stadium was the National indoor stadium up until a few years ago, built on the vision of Sean Naughton a local athlete and founding member of Nenagh Olympic AC. We have Clubs all over the country who have no place to train no lit up area in the winter to bring children to develop new talent, running on country roads, training up and down the streets of towns and villages. I often went into town myself of a Friday night to run the streets with a few friends. Where will the money be spent? Will it bring us a new Sonia O Sullivan or a new Derval O Rourke, will it support great talent like Michelle Finn who qualified for the steeple chase last week and who competed in Rio, or will it be spent on some of the other new rising star or will it be spent on Facilities or will it dwindle into nothing and never reach the grass roots.
With all that in mind and if you have seen some of the great performances in the National champion chips last week and if you want your chance to show what you can do, there is just over 2 weeks to the Country club 5km on the Friday 17th of August and then the following week we will have our final event in Churchtown as Churchtown AC run their 5 mile event on the Friday 24th of August. In the meantime Galty runners have their GR8km on the 10th of August. As always for more information check out the website or our facebook www.ballyhouraactive.com.