10 Aug 2022

Laois Athletics News (February 26)

Laois Athletics Digest for this week. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express with extended photographic coverage.

Laois Athletics Digest for this week. Read it first every Tuesday in the Leinster Express with extended photographic coverage.


The Rhode Parish Gathering Festival and Irish Autism Action 5k

A big congratulations to Ciaran Keenan who came home first in The Rhode Parish Gathering Festival and Irish Autism Action 5k road race which was held in Rhode in Co Offaly on Sunday February 17th last. The run was held to support the Rhode Parish Gathering Festival and Irish Autism Action. There was a great turnout and it was great to see so many top runners and families support this worthy cause!

2013 Community Games Trials

The cross-country trials for the 2013 Community Games took place at Stradbally Hall on Sunday February 17th last. There were 6 races on the day, relay trials for both girls and boys U-12 (500m), relay trials for girls and boys U-14 (700m) and normal cross-country race for U-13 girls and boys (1200m).

Whilst overall the numbers participating for Laois were disappointing on this fresh but dry day, Ballyfin Athletic Club were well represented with 11 athletes up for the challenge.

In the first race, the girls U12 500m, the Club had 7 athletes running including Dearbhail Cuddy, Ellen Coughlan, Maeve Carroll, Aoife Parnell, Fianna Byrne, Roisin Bland and Katie Conroy. This race had the largest number of competitors taking part and our girls gave great individual performances. Roisin Bland came home first of the pack in seventh position narrowly missing out on joining the county team in the national finals. The girls are getting stronger with each race. The boys U-12 race had three Ballyfin AC athletes participating, Adam Connolly, Sean O’Rourke and Jordan Egan. Whilst the field was smaller, the boys ran to the best of their abilities with Sean and Adam running home in fifth and sixth position. This means that both will now join the Laois cross-country relay team as subs in the national finals in Athlone later in the year. Congratulations to both! In the U-13 girls 1200m race, Phoebe Makim did the honors for the club by qualifying for the County team despite running to the line minus a runner! Well done Phoebe and especially after celebrating her birthday the day before.

Well done to all on a successful day today and, to the parents, for taking the time out to bring their child/children along to these events. It’s onwards and upwards, and these races help build childrens’ confidence and experience for future events. Please check out our Ballyfin AC facebook page during the week for pictures of todays event. On this note, I would encourage everyone to visit our page and “like” events as our PRO, Mike McCarthy, has done a terrific job on setting up this page and updating it on a regular


The Deadman’s Dash 7k Sunday 21st April

Last week Ballyfin AC along with the support of the Deadman’s Inn launched The Deadman’s Dash 7k on their Facebook page. It is our first organised road race and we look forward to greeting runners of all levels on the day. The Deadman’s Dash 7k will take place on Sunday 21st April 2013 at 12 Noon, starting and finishing outside the Deadmans Inn with Prizes for the First 5 Senior Men and Women of €100, €80, €60, €40 and €20. There will also be a 1k kidsDASH at 11.15 am prior to the main race, each child will receive a medal for taking part. Registration is €15 and can be done on the day from 10.00am in the Deadmans Inn or register online at, look for it under Events Calendar. Registration for students will be €5, only on the day. The is also a €2 entry fee for the kidsDASH, only on the day. Refreshments and prize-giving will take place afterwards at the Deadman’s Inn including spot prizes for all taking part. AAI Permit Granted. Specific details on Ballyfin AC Facebook page.

Monday Nights - Indoor Training

Indoor Training takes place at the Ballyfin Community Hall every Monday from 6.30 to 7.30. There will be a cool “Little Athletics” training programme for children aged 5-9. This age group has been identified as the FUNdamental stage in the long term physical development of the child, and the development of fundamental skills such as agility, co-ordination and balance will contribute greatly to future sporting achievements. Why not get along and give it a go! Contact Ger Goode on 083-1077421. Children from the age of 5 welcome, €2 per child and max €5 per family.

Friday nights – Indoor/Outdoor Training

Friday night training, for children over 8 years of age, takes place at the Treo Nua Community Centre in Portlaoise on Harpurs Lane (across from entrance to the Portlaoise Running Track) from 6.30pm to 7.30pm. It consists of a mixture of indoor/outdoor training (weather dependent).

Adult Training

Adult Training for all levels takes place every Sunday in Emo Court at 10.30am with runners meeting up in the car park, and with the days closing in its every Tuesday and Thursday evening in Portlaoise meeting in St Fintans car park across from the prison at 7.30pm. Everyone is welcome so why not dust off those trainers, come along and

get active!

Get fit with the Ballyfin AC Ladies

Following on from our first Womens Team taking part in the Laois Cross Country Championship in Emo – we want to keep the momentum going! With the short evenings it can be difficult but why not contact Ger Goode on 083-1077421 and she can give out details on where the girls meet up. So why not get out and get up and running.

For more details and updates check us out on the Ballyfin AC Facebook page. All you gotta do is search for Ballyfin AC on Facebook and that will get us.

Ballyroan Abbeyleix and District


There is training Cullahill GAA Grounds at 7pm each Monday evening. Anybody with an interest in athletics/general fitness regardless of age or experience is most welcome. All levels of fitness are catered for. We would encourage and welcome parents especially to bring their children and maybe even participate with them in becoming fit for life.

There will be a group run in Cullenagh each Monday evening at 7pm. This is an easy run on hills. There is training each Tuesday evening at 7.30 pm at Ballyroan GAA grounds. Anybody with an interest in athletics/general fitness regardless of age or experience is most welcome. All levels of fitness are catered for. We would encourage and welcome parents especially to bring their children and maybe even participate with them in becoming fit for life.

Any further information regarding training times/locations can be got from the club captains. Ladies - Grace McConnell 085-7542078 and Mens - Martin McDonald 087-2068969.

You can follow us on Facebook at BallyroanAbbeyleix Athletics Club.


Club News

We held a High Jump coaching session in Emo Sports Hall on Friday 8th at 7pm. Colin Byrne from St Abban’s was kind enough to give up his evening and demonstrate to the athletes who attended on the night. He gave some very useful guidelines as to the proper highjump speed drills to concentrate on and coached the athletes through a very informative evening. We were delighted to have some promising athletes from Oughvale AC attend the session with Jonn Scully. Training will continue every Monday evening 6.45pm till 7.45pm and Friday for all those athletes wishing to increase their training (10 years and over) from 7pm - 8pm. Reg fees are due presently so please speak to Mary Keegan regarding same, if you have not paid for your registration fees by the end of February your child will not be able to attend the Athletics as they will not be insured with us. Thank you.

St Lawrence O’Toole held their T&F indoor on Saturday 16th Feb. We had Chloe Keenan competing on the day, in the girls U-9 50m sprints, Chloe won gold in the final, what a wonderful achievement. Eddie Allen ran in the community games County x-country trials in Stradbally Hall on Sunday 17th Feb, he came second in the U-12 boys mixed distance relay trial he also ran in the U-13 1200m trial and won. Well done Eddie now goes to Nationals. Rebecca Balfe also competed in the U-12 girls mixed distance relay trials she too came second well done Rebecca is through to Nationals. Aoife Mooney ran a terrific race coming fourth in the U-14 mixed distance relay team also qualifying for Nationals. All athletes need to be registered ASAP for Emo Rath AC. Training continues every Monday €1 6.45pm-7.45pm and Friday 7pm-8pm 10years and up. Leinster Indoor T+F Championships are on March 9th and 10th in Athlone.


Weekend Action

In what was a quiet weekend on the juvenile front a number of athletes headed to Stradbally for the community games cross country trials. Well done to Aoife Daly, Elaine Daly, Erone Fitzpatrick, Charlie Walsh, Amy Walsh, Kate Walsh and PJ Daly, all of whom qualified to represent Laois at the national finals in May. Almost 300 runners took part in a BHAA cross country race in the Phoenix Park on Saturday morning. In the ladies two mile race Paula Grant was fourth overall and first O35. Sharon Grant was not far behind in

sixth place. Trish Cuddy was the third of the club ladies in 18th place. Trish and her work colleagues were in the second team place but, as hosts of the event, they were not eligible to accept the prizes. Cyril Cuddy had a strong run in the men’s four-mile race and finished in 21st place in a time of 24.35.

Couch to 5K

The couch to 5K programme continues each Tuesday at 6pm. It’s great to see so many people sticking with the programme. We look forward to working with everyone over the remaining weeks to help them achieve their fitness goals and complete the Streets of Portlaoise 5k road race on St Patrick’s Day. Information will be posted on Portlaoise AC facebook page and StreetsofPortlaoise facebook page. A big thank you to all the coaches and helpers who give their time voluntarily. Streets Of Portlaoise 5K Road Race. Entries continue to flow in for our annual Streets of Portlaoise 5k: (incorporating a juvenile 1k) in association with The Heritage Health and Fitness Club on St Patricks Day, Sunday 17th March. Registration from 9am is at the Heritage Hotel, Portlaoise. (Changing Facilities/Refreshments and Prize giving in the hotel after the race).The race will start at Main Street Portlaoise commencing at 11.30am. There will be Chip Timing. Prizes for first five Senior men and women (€200, €150, €130, €115, €100).Top Master in the following. Categories, M40, M45, M50, W35, W40, W45. €50. There will be €100 bonus for breaking the Course records . Men 14.52, Women 17.00. Prizes in underage categories.


Seniors - Tuesday and Thursday 7pm at track. Saturday in Oakvale, meet at 10.45, run at 11.00. Sunday in Emo, Meet at 10.15, run at 10.30 sharp. Juveniles - Tuesday and Thursday 7pm at track for sprints, long jump, hurdles, distance. Sunday 10.15am at Emo for 11yrs+. Note: Training for 6, 7 and 8 year olds will be on Tuesdays only until the bright evenings return.


The club AGM will be held in the Parish Centre at 8pm on Monday 4th March. Please note change of date.

St Abban’s

National Senior Titles for Barry and Eoin

The Woodies DIY national senior indoors drew a full house to the Athlone International arena over the weekend. With such top class facilities the performances in general were up also with several athletes securing PBs. On Sunday when mostof the finals took place, the atmosphere was electric at times and this urged everyone to give their best. Having said that some operational matters such as the starting equipment left a lot to be desired.

Stephen Lawlor was unlucky not to break the 9 minute barrier in the 3000m and had to settle for 16th place in 9-01.63. Nessa Millet, despite finishing a close second in her heat in 58.33 seconds, failed to make the final finishing in eighth place overall. Conor Daly gave it everything and moved his PB out to 13.70 metres in the triple jump which was good enoughfor a close fourth. It was fourth also for Barry Regan losing out by a mere three-hundredths of a second in the 60 metres. He clocked 7.19 for third in his heat, followed it up with 7.14 and second in his semi-final and moved it to 7.12 and another PB in the final and just failing to make the podium.

Eoin Kelly showed he is back to close on his best in the triple jump when he registered four jumps out over 14 metres on his way to taking another senior title with a best of 14.44 metres. His team mate Barry Pender came home from Birmingham, where he is currently training, to take the high jump title. With quite a big field it took some time (almost an hour) before Barry attempted his opening height of two metres sailing over. The bar went to 2.03m and Barry cleared on his first attempt and retained his title won in Belfast last year. He put the bar up to 2.10m but with little to aim for called it a day. It was a good start for the club in the new facility and hopefully it can be built on for the future. Two gold and two fourth placing’s augurs well.

Nessa Accepts Award

While being a little disappointed not to make the 400m final in Athlone Nessa Millet was in great form when she accepted the Tipperary Crystal National star award for Laois from the Minister Michael Ring in the Tullamore Court hotel on Saturday night. The award is in recognition of her outstanding performances in 2012 capped what was an outstanding year for her. The President of athletics Ireland, Professor Ciaran O’Cathain was loud in his praise for the current crop of outstanding junior and juvenile athletes coming through and wished them all the best for the future. He looked forward to many of them making it to International level in the future.


Laois sports partnership are currently promoting Sportshall athletics in the clubhouse for the local primary schools. The club wish to thank LSP and the teachers for the involvement of the students and hope they have an enjoyable experience. Anyone interested in developing further are very welcome to come along to our club training on Tuesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm.

St Michael’s

Good Friday 5k

The St Michael’s AC Good Friday run will be held at the Heritage Golf and Spa Resort Killenard on 29th of March. The fun run starts at 6:30pm and is AAI approved. Entry only €10. Great spot prizes and cash for first Man and Woman.

Rhode 10k and 5K

Well done to Pippa Hackett, Mark Hackett and Wes Reilly who competed in the recent Rhode 10k and 5k run.

Circuit Training

Adult Circuit training takes place indoors every Friday evening at 7pm. Venue GAA Centre Portarlington. There is a great response to this training only three euro for the circuit training session. All welcome. Circuit training is the most time efficient way to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance.

Training Schedule

Senior Training takes place every Tuesday and Friday in McCann park Portarlington at 7pm. Tuesday evening session is €2. The Firday night is now a circuit training based session it targets strength building and endurance. John Fenlon leads the circuit training. The Circuit training will take place indoors, beginners are welcome.

New Members welcome

New members are always welcome to St Michaels AC senior Club, for details of Senior Training contact Aidan Mullally 087-6968844. Beginners catered for if you know anyone who enjoys running, wants to get fit and would like to join St Michaels AC club please invite them along.

Sunday Morning Run

The long run on Sunday morning continues at the scheduled time of 10am – Meeting at Lidil contact Wes - 085-1252352 or Mark Higgins.

St Michaels AC Club Contact Details

Website: e-mail: Facebook: Search for “Michaels AC” send friend request. Contacts: Aidan Mullally Tel 087-6968844, Noel Coss Tel:087-9900840; Wes Reilly Tel: 085-1252352; Juvenile info: Mark Higgins 087-2431154.

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