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25 May 2022

IN PICTURES: Triumphant return for Laois athletics club St. Abban's Open Sports

IN PICTURES: Triumphant return for Laois athletics club St. Abban's Open Sports

The Bank Holiday Monday in May saw the return of the St Abban’s AC Open Sports, with a festival of athletics on show in Monavea.

For its 25th edition the Open Sports surpassed all expectations with over 700 people in attendance throughout the day. There were several fine performances and no doubt some names that will crop up over the next few years as developing young athletes on the athletics scene. 

The Bank Holiday Monday in May saw the return of the St Abban’s AC Open Sports, with a festival of athletics on show in Monavea.

For its 25th edition the Open Sports surpassed all expectations with over 700 people in attendance throughout the day. There were several fine performances and no doubt some names that will crop up over the next few years as developing young athletes on the athletics scene. 

Among the highlights in an action packed day included a new Welsh U.16 record in the Hammer for Thomas Williams of Shercock and Wrexham AC. Thomas’ throw of 58.60m also marked a new pb and a very worthwhile trip to Laois.

In the same competition, the local athlete Ger Kelly threw a new club record of 42.98m in what was an excellent competition.

Clubs travelled in great numbers from across the country with Ferrybank, Clonliffe Harriers, Parnells’ AC, KCH and Newbridge Ac all fighting for the overall best club and the ‘Monavea Shield’. In the end it was Gowran Ac from Co Kilkenny who emerged victorious, finishing 16 points ahead of Newbridge AC. 

For many athletes this was their first competitive experience of some events, with many going away with a new found enthusiasm for athletics. We are very lucky at the club to have a number of coaches and volunteers with a great wealth of experience across a number of events which could be shared with other clubs and parents on the day.

Of particular note on the day was the number of teenage athletes competing across a range of events. Keeping teenage athletes in the sport continues to be a huge challenge for clubs throughout the country, but on Monday there were lanes packed in sprint events, large fields in distance events as well as very competitive throws and jump competitions. In the final relays event of the day there were 12 relay teams lined up, a testament to each of the clubs involved that 48 teenage athletes battled it out for the medals. 

 These events cannot take place without the support of the whole community. There were over 50 volunteers present on the day to ensure the smooth running of the Open Sports.

The club would like to say a huge thank you to each and every one of the parent and club volunteers who helped out on the day.

The club would also like to extend a huge thank you to Newhaven Kitchens and Bedrooms and Councillor Ben Brennan who provided sponsorship for the event.  

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