Kilkenny hurling legend Tommy Walsh was the special guest at the Aodh Ruadh hurling club underage presentation night on Friday night in Aras Aodh Ruaidh.
The nine times All-Star from Tullaroan made the journey along with his father, Michael, despite the weather conditions and also having to return immediately afterwards to attend the wedding of Kilkenny hurling captain Brian Hogan.
It has been a busy time for Walsh, who also gets married in two weeks time and has just returned from the All-Stars hurling trip to San Francisco.
The Walshs have a Donegal connection as his father Michael is a nephew of Kay Sinclair of Donegal Town.
The very modest Kilkenny player, who has set a record of nine consecutive All-Stars (and he’s not finished yet) which is unlikely to ever be equalled.
Speaking to the young Aodh Ruadh hurlers, who thronged the Centre for the night, he said there were no special formula to being a good hurler, just three words . . . practice, practice, practice.
“You need to practice every day and I know some of you will be studying for the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert, but no matter how much homework you have, you should not miss training,” said Tommy, who said that those who go to training will be just as good at the books.
“One of my coaches in school was from Carlow and he had a saying that stuck with me. He said that training was like a wardrobe. Whatever you put in to it, you can take out again,”said Walsh.
The chief organiser of the night, John Rooney, thanked Tommy for making the effort to travel to Ballyshannon for the awards night.
“I spoke to him in September and he assured me he would come and he has been true to his word despite a very difficult schedule.”
Walsh presented all the awards to the young hurlers who were particularly successful in 2011, especially the U-16s who won the league and championship double.