Belfast International Athletics Meet
Athletes from Northern Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and further afield are in the running for the Belfast International Athletics Meet at the Mary Peters Track on Wednesday 2nd July 2014.
Organised by Athletics Northern Ireland with support from Belfast City Council, the event follows on from the 2013 official opening event which followed a £3m refurbishment of the track as part of Belfast City Council’s £150m Investment Programme. It is hoped that the event will become a regular fixture in the athletics calendar for many years to come.
Among the athletes confirmed for the event is 2014 British Athletics Indoor 800m bronze medallist, Katie Kirk of Queen’s University Belfast AC. Katie has enjoyed a strong season of late, running a PB of 2:02.97 last weekend to achieve the Glasgow 2014 consideration standard. Athletics fans in Northern Ireland and further afield will no doubt be keen to see Katie compete against some of the World’s top runners on home soil.
General Secretary of Athletics Northern Ireland, John Allen, said: “This is a fantastic event for everyone involved and provides an opportunity to showcase one of the Country’s top athletics arenas. Taking place just three weeks ahead of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Belfast International Athletics Meet will offer fans an opportunity see world class athletes compete at the home of Athletics in Northern Ireland ahead of the Games.
“The Mary Peters Track is a world class standard venue that is open to the whole athletics community, catering to all levels of the sport from schoolchildren and club athletes to those training to compete at an international level.” he added.
Following the re-opening of the track in 2013, Dame Mary Peters said she was delighted that the track named in her honour would continue to serve Belfast and Northern Ireland.
Ahead of the Belfast International Athletics Meet she acknowledged the importance of Belfast City Council’s continued support along with the work carried out by Athletics Northern Ireland stating “I am overjoyed that Belfast has a truly world-class facility that serves both current and future generations of athletes. The presence of a world class venue ensures a legacy of athletics development for the City for many years to come”.
(Left to Right) Dame Mary Peters, John Allen of Athletics NI and athlete Katie Kirk help launch the 2014 Belfast International Athletics Meet. Following on from the international opening event held at the newly refurbished Mary Peters Track in 2013 the Belfast International Athletics Meet on Wednesday 2nd July will ensure a legacy of world class athletics in Belfast for years to come. To find out more visit www.athleticsni.org
The Aviva Connaught Schools Track and Field Championships took place on Thursday the 15th of May in Athlone Institute of Technology. The championships brought together some of the best athletes in the west of Ireland representing their schools.
The Inter Girls was full of strong performances with Laura Ann Costello, Dunmore CS, and Sinead Treacy, St. Raphael’s Loughrea split the sprint titles between them. Costello won the 100m in a time of 12.41. Treacy won 200m title in a time of 25.59.
Michaela Walsh from SM&P Swinford produced a fantastic performance in the Shot Putt with a throw of 14.92m almost 5m ahead of her nearest competitor.
The Senior Girls had its fair share of the day’s double winners. Stacey Kerr, Ursiline College Sligo, took the 100m (12.89) and 200m (26.49) titles.
Alannah Lally, Pres Athenry, was also impressive in her events winning the 400m (57.73) and the 800m (2.20.02).
Eimear Murphy from Gortnor Abbey was dominant in the Shot Putt with a fine throw of 9.26m.
In the Senior Boys, Zac Irwin from Sligo Grammar was successful in capturing both the 100m (10.83) and 200m (21.78) Connaught titles in impressive times.
The Athletics Ireland High Performance unit is committed to supporting and developing, Relay Squads to provide sprinters with a realistic pathway to represent Ireland at the major championships. Qualification of teams for this year’s European Track and Field Championships is seen as important stepping stone towards qualification of teams at the Rio 2016 Olympic. The long-term objective for Irish Relay Squads is in line with the core objective of the High Performance Strategic Plan; to deliver more medals on the World stage.
Three team Relay Co-ordinators have been appointed. Terrie Cahill who has vast experience both as a former International athlete and as a coach will head up the women’s 4×100m relay squad. Cahill coached the women’s relay squad to an Irish Record in 2010. Double European 400m Indoor Champion and Record Holder David Gillick will oversee the Men’s 4×400m team. While Daniel Kilgallon who looks after up and coming sprinting stars in Tallaght AC will coach and co-ordinate the junior men’s 4×100m relay squad.
Support will be provided to Relay Squads that have potential to run/or have achieved the standard set in the qualification policies for major championships. Depth and quality is needed in events with a minimum of five athletes that meet the Individual Relay Standards needed for support to be made available from the relay programme.
In 2014 support will be provided to Senior Women’s 4×100m and Men’s 4×400m with the target of achieving qualification for the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich in August. Both teams will need to achieve a top 16 European ranking to secure qualification. While the junior 4×100m men’s squad are targeting the World Junior Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon with a qualification time needed of 40.10, the current Irish Junior Record stands at 40.60.
The relay team members are selected from the relays panels. The athletes pre-selected for the relay panels were selected based on the 2013/14 ranking lists, current form in 2014; relay experience and availability and commitment to the relay programme. To be added to the relay panel for 2014 athletes will have to achieve the Individual Relay Standard Click Here For Further Details
Day one of the Aviva Leinster Schools Track & Field Championships took place in Santry Stadium on Wednesday, 14th of May. The event brought together the cream of Ireland’s young athletic talent to compete for a place in the prestigious Aviva All Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships in Tullamore on the 31st of May. The following records were broken on a thrilling day of track and field action:
Day 1 Record
U16 Girls 200m Aine O Connor (St. Mary’s Naas) 26.85sec
Senior Girls Steeplechase Alison Armstrong (Coolmine C.C) 5:21:37.
Inter Girls Steeplechase (Killina Secondary School) Emily Greenan 5:25:71.
Minor Girls Relay (St. Vincent’s Dundalk) 52.28
Minor Girls Javelin Kate O Connor (St. Vincent’s Dundalk) 36m.
Minor Boys 800m Mark Milner (Cholaiste Choilm Tullamore) 2:02:51.
U16 Boys Relay 4 x 300m (St Aidan’s) 2:34:99.
Junior Girls Hammer Lauren O’Keeffe (Loreto Balbriggan) 53:02m.
Calling all athletes and coaches who are interested in multi-events. There will be two workshops held in St. Laurence O’Tooles AC in Carlow on Wednesday 21st May and Wednesday 4th of June from 6-9pm each evening.
On the first night the following will be covered:
1. Sprints starts.
3. Shot Putt
4. Long Jump
Athlete MUST do 2 events. In addition there will be a talk on how to be prepared for competition. This will be of interest to both athletes and coaches.
Open to athletes over 13 years and coaches only.
Cost - €5 per Athlete/Coach
To book your place please contact:
Colin Byrne - firstname.lastname@example.org
Pat Power - 087-9586138
The psychology workshop on Sunday May 11th in UL by Dr Tadhg MacIntyre was both thought provoking and inspiring. Both athletes and coaches were invited to reflect on their own performance(s), asked to think about how they react to certain situations and stimuli as well as consider how they can improve their performance from a psychological perspective.
Two of the main themes that emerged were the importance of both positivity and personal support structures (friends, family, training partners, coaches etc.) and that these were equally important for the coach as well as the athlete. Tadhg facilitated each of the groups in the set tasks, ensuring that everyone received feedback pertinent to them. The workshop was enjoyed by all and everyone left with something that would potentially help them ‘perform’ better, both in training and competition.
Sincere thanks to Tadhg for delivering the workshop.
15 Irish athletes have been named on the Irish Team for the European Youth Olympic Trials in Baku, Azerbaijan from the 30th of May to the 1st of June. The European trials also act as the qualifying event for the 2014 World Youth Olympic Games to be held in Nanjing, China in August.
The trials will bring together the best Youth Athletes (16/17 years of age) from all across Europe to compete in a variety of track and field events. The Irish team will be represented across the board with athletes competing in throws, jumps, sprints and middle distance events:
Elizabeth Morland (Cushinstown AC) who achieved the qualifying mark in three events (long jump, high jump and 100m hurdles) will contest the 100m hurdles event in Baku. Morland has enjoyed a fantastic 2014 season already including setting a national youth record in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.55.
Phoebe Murphy (Clonmel AC) and Roseanna McGuckian (City of Lisburn AC) were members of the gold medal winning relay team at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Utrecht, Netherlands. Both athletes will use this experience as they contest the 200m events at this year’s championships.
Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) who struck gold over 800m at the 2013 EYOF’s will spearhead the middle-distance challenge in Baku as she contests the 800m event. William Crowe (North Sligo AC) another medallist from last year’s EYOF’s goes in the boy’s 1,500m event. Pierre Murchan (Celtic DCH) competed in the recent IMC race in Greystones (10th May) running a time of 8.38.01 in the 3,000m to bag himself the standard and a place on the team.
There will be seven throwers representing Ireland at the championships led by Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) in the Shot Putt. Walsh has been in fine form this season producing a new championship best performance of 15.08m at the national juvenile championships in March. Ann-Marie Torsney (Fingallians AC) will join Walsh in the Shot Putt event as she threw a personal best of 13.06m to secure her place on the team.
Aoife Vaughan-Witts (Borriskane AC), James Williams (Shercock AC) and Adam King (Iveragh AC) will all contest the hammer event after achieving the required standard. Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath) has enjoyed a breakthrough season including setting a new Irish Youth Record of 56.38m in early April. He is joined in the discus by Andrew Barkley (City of Lisburn AC) who has thrown 52.10m this year.
Donagh Mahon (Gowran AC) will lead the charge in the high jump and he will be joined in the event by Keith Marks (Cushinstown AC). Mahon has been in record breaking form this season setting a new Irish Youth Record of 2.10m in March. Mark’s has also been over 2m this year clearing 2.03m to secure his place on the team.
The Irish team’s preparations for the trials have included a warm weather training camp in Monte Gordo, Portugal in April. The camp was overseen by Junior High Performance
Manager Jacqui Freyne and provided athletes with an opportunity to fine-tune their form pre-season. Athletics Ireland would like to congratulate all athletes on their selection and wish them and their coaches the best of luck at the championships.