National Finals 2016
St Francis Credit Union Clare Community Games will have over 330 children from across the County participating in a large number of both individual & team events in the National Finals in Athlone during August. The finals will be held over two weekends 12th - 14th Aug with 220 competitors and 19th - 21st with 112 competitors in both sporting & cultural events. Competitors can only take part in one individual and one team event but may also compete in an athletic relay or swimming squad. Clare has a very proud record at the finals and expectations are high that this year will be even better. Clare has won medals in the U13 Cross Country nearly every year since its inception and is looking forward to participating to their best.
The weekend of 12th – 14th August Clare will have competitors in Cross Country, Mixed Distance Relays, Cycling, Duathlon, Mini Rugby, Tag Rugby, Girls Soccer, Choir, Group Dance Irish/Contemporary, Group Singing, Handball, Art, Handwriting, Model Making, Swimming, Pitch & Putt, Table Quiz, Chess, Skittles, Solo & Group Music & Solo Singing.
Some of the participants representing Clare this coming weekend in Athlone
A large number of the children are no strangers to Community Games or indeed the National Finals.
- In the Art & Model Making competitions Cratloe have 6 participants, Brothers Shane & Jack Leahy won silver medals last year. Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry has 5 participants in this competition.
- In Handwriting 3 of the 4 children are from Kilmihil.
- In the Group Dance Irish/Contemporary Clare are represented by a brother & sister team from Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry.
- The U13 Mixed Cross Country team are drawn from 7 different areas across the County.
- In Pitch & Putt the team this year are from Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry which includes twins Colm & Noel Flynn. They are hoping to uphold the high standard which Ennis St Johns has set over the past number of years.
- In the Quiz Cooraclare/Cree side are hoping to feature among the medal winners this time around as they were unlucky last year.
- In Swimming the individual contestants are from 11 different areas which include Ava Rochford – Ennis St Johns & Eoin Rouine – Ennistymon/Lahinch/Liscannor who won gold last year & young Oisin Minogue from Killaloe who won Bronze last year. All four swimming squads are from different areas.
- The Quin/Clooney Choir are hoping to retain the title they won last year. They have 11 members of last year's team.
- The 2 Derg Handball teams are hoping to go one better than last year and achieve the gold. While the Kilkishen/O'Callaghans Mills/Oatfield team are also hoping to bring home the gold.
- The Quin/Clooney u11 Tag Rugby team are hoping to better the Silver medals they won last year. They have 5 members of last year's team. The Killaloe u14 team are hoping to do likewise.
- In Chess the team to represent Clare this year is Ennis St Johns. Shannon were always the team to get to National finals. Shannon won silver last year.
- The Ennis St Johns u15 girls Soccer team are hoping to bring home the gold this year. Five of these girls were on the Clare u13 Indoor Soccer team that won Silver medals last year.
- In Skittles both the u12 & u16 teams are from Quin/Clooney. They are hoping to bring home the double gold.
Cooraclare/Cree – Browne Family
The Browne family from the Cooraclare/Cree area of County Clare are heavily involved in Community Games. They are participating in the Group Music in the National Finals.
Sean & Liam are Twins, their brother Colm with their first cousins sisters Letitia & Andrea. Liam is also in Solo Music while Sean is in the Mixed Distance Relay U14. Liam won Gold in the Solo Music last Year.
All Musicians have qualified for the All Ireland Fleadh the following weekend in a number of different categories.
Another cousin Padraig is participating in the U14 Quiz. All the dads are brothers.
Clarecastle/Ballyea will have fifteen children representing Clare in the National Finals. The first weekend they will have fourteen while Alannah Hayes will be their sole representative on weekend two. The participants are – David Meaney – U14 Art, Lucy Hoyne – U16 Solo Singing, Eoin Costelloe – U12 Solo Music, Ella Doherty U15 Duathlon & U14 Mixed Distance Relay, U12 Group Music – Caoimhe Parry, Zoe Ellingstad, Alan Casey, Roisin Halpin, & brothers Oisin & Liam McNamara, U16 Swimming Squad – Tim Collis, Conor Mahoney, Sabian Kulczynski & James Costelloe who is brother of Eoin. This is Liam McNamara's second time in the National Finals in U8 Art two years ago.
Sixmilebridge/Kilmurry – Hamilton Family
The Hamilton family of 4 children are extremely involved in Community Games from their early years.
David has taken part in Community Games for many years. He is 16 in October so this will be the last National Finals he will qualify for.
County level- he has won gold u10 model making, 2 gold and 1 silver u11 projects, 2 gold u12 model making, 2 gold u14 model making, bronze u16 group music and 2 gold u16 art. 3 County Community Games All Star awards.
National - gold u10 model making, 3 times qualified for final stages of u11 projects, bronze u12 model making, gold u14 model making and qualified for u16 art 2015 and this year 2016.
Paul has also taken part in Community Games for many years, he has 1 more year left to compete.
County level - gold u10 model making, 2 gold and silver u11 project, gold u12 art, gold u14 model making, gold u14 art, gold u16 model making, silver u15 solo recitation, bronze u16 group music. 3XClare Community Games All Star awards.
National - gold u10 model making, 3 times qualified for u11 projects, u12 art unplaced, gold u14 model making, 4th u14 art, qualified 2016 for u16 model making.
Caroline the youngest in the family is competing for first time at National finals in u10 model making. She has competed in art and model making for many years.
Samuel the younger brother narrowly missed out on qualifying for national finals this year he got 2nd at county in u12 model making. He has competed at county level in project, art and model making. 1XClare Community Games All Star award for project.
P.S. Mother Miriam has competed internationally at race walking in 97/98. She has won numerous national medals at juvenile senior and masters level.
Doora/Barefield – Swimming Squad
Doora Barefield Girls have History.
Representing Clare in this year's U16 Swimming Relay are Doora Barefield girls Tara McEvoy, Amy Lenihan, Laura McDonnell and Aisling Reidy. For the first three girls, this will be their fourth time representing Clare in the Swimming Relay event, twice at U13 level where they won bronze in 2012 and hot on the heels of their Gold Medals and National Title in last year's U16 event. From the start, the Girls have been excellently coached by Team Manager, Maggie Purcell and all in Doora Barefield and Clare wish them well in this year's competition in Athlone in August.
The 2012 U13 Swimming Relay Team National Bronze Winners included Tara McEvoy, Laura McDonnell, Ciara Kennedy and Amy Lenihan. In 2013, Tara, Laura and Amy again won the County Event, this time with a new team-mate Aisling Reidy, earning them the right to represent County Clare again at the National Finals that year. Hopes of bettering their previous years bronze were high as they were at that stage the "full" age for their event. Unfortunately, the National Swimming Weekend was moved to a date in May that year causing them to withdraw due to a clash with the girls 6th class School tour to Delphi.
By 2015, the girls were back winning the County Final for Doora Barefield and beating very stiff competition in Athlone to claim Gold in the National Finals for County Clare.
The 2015 Gold Medal winning U16 Swimming Relay Team included: Tara McEvoy (Front Crawl), Laura McDonnell (Backstroke), Aisling Reidy (Breaststroke) and Amy Lenihan (Butterfly).
Mary Phelan - PRO