Changes to Community Games national finals programme

County Tipperary Community Games held their AGM in Hayes Hotel, Thurles.

County Tipperary Community Games held their AGM in Hayes Hotel, Thurles.

There was a good turn out from the areas. Comprehensive reports were given by all the officers on what was an excellent year for Tipperary overall.

The county won gold medals in both skittles events courtesy of the talented groups from Ballingarry and won silver medals in seven other team events.

They has super results at the HSE National Finals winning gold medals in nine activities, silver medals in eight events, bronze medals in five and pewter medals in six events. All competitors and managers were congratulated on their success and parents and supporters were complimented for their dedication.

The media were also thanked for their continued support, especially ‘The Nationalist’ who provide invaluable coverage to the games which is very much appreciated.

The hardworking officers and volunteers were all praised for their input especially Kathleen England, County Secretary and her assistant Joan Hogan who are vital to the smooth operation of events. Chairman Andy Griffin expressed sincere sympathy to all members of the organisation who lost loved ones during the year.

Good wishes were sent to Frank O’Brien, Clogheen, who had recently been ill. Frank has been the backbone of Clogheen area for 25 years. We hope he will continue to be their “guiding light” in the future and wish him the best of health.

Guest speaker was Rory O’Grady from Galway representing the National Community Games organisation who outlined some dramatic changes which will come into effect during the coming year.

One of the main issues is that Weekend One in May has been scrapped and the National Finals will revert to taking place over two weekends in August. Dates for 2014 are Weekend One will be on 15th, 16th and 17 with Weekend Two taking place on 22nd, 23rd and 24th of August. Not the ideal situation regarding finals of sports on the winter programme having to wait until August to compete especially in the case of Judo where competitors would be watching their weight. There will be a much larger number of children to be catered for and it will also be a bit of a nightmare getting tracksuits back from Weekend One and ready for Weekend Two.

It has also been proposed to hold Blitz competitions instead of the current form of knockout events ie a Cup and a Plate competitions which will give children the opportunity of greater participation. The format for participation will remain the same as some years ago when a competitor may take part in one individual event, one team event and be a member of an athletics relay team or a swimming squad. For example if one competes in an individual event on Weekend One they may not take part in another individual event on Weekend Two so that gives some food for thought.

Affiliation forms for 2014 are now available and all areas are encouraged to hold their AGMs as early as possible. Newport won the county award for the best area overall.

The 2014 Munster finals will be hosted by Co. Waterford. The Munster AGM will take place in Dungarvan on Sunday, December 1. The National AGM will take place in Westport.