Donegal athletes make waves
by Matt Britton
The snows and heavy frost of December are now but a distant memory and many of the planned traditional Christmas and end of the year functions are now giving a welcome boost to businesses this month.
Last Sunday evening as the reconvened Tir Chonaill juvenile club awards function got under way as the club took to the waves on the Donegal Bay Water bus,
Chairman Paul O'Gara welcomed the large gathering of athletes, parents and supporters on board the vessel as it sailed down a very tranquil Donegal Bay.
It was indeed a first-time experience for many of the athletes and their parents but strangely enough, also the maiden voyage for the builder of the impressive vessel, Francis Hegarty from Killybegs.
"I wanted to make sure she got a good testing before I put foot on her," joked Francis who was there along with his wife Valerie and son Mark.
Paul O'Gara congratulated all the award winners and thanked the various support subcommittees within the club for their unstinting work during 2010 and highlighted a number of 2010 club achievements.
"During the year Tir Chonaill Athletics Club opened a new half million euro facility in partnership with the AVS Parents Association and Donegal VEC, represented Ireland at the European clubs in Switzerland and organised and supported fit4life training/competition groups at various locations in south Donegal.
"We also ran very successful Easter and Summer camps for hundreds of young athletes and also coached hundreds of athletes on a weekly basis in Donegal Town, Ballyshannon and Bundoran."
Prior to making presentations to an impressive group of awardees Paul also thanked the media, the local community for ongoing support, numerous club sponsors and in particular Cara Pharmacies who annually assist an array of club activities.
The upcoming Cara Bundoran 10 mile challenge on the 5th March was highlighted as a most important event for club athletes and mentors and it is expected that it will draw record numbers to the resort town.