With the majestic Athlone Castle as the setting, the HSE Community Games launced their 2014 Festival with the help of former participant and fitness ambassador Bressie (Niall Breslin).
Gerard Davenport, President of Community Games, presented Bressie with a Community Games gold medal to reward him for all he has done over the years in encouraging people to be more active in their daily lives and also for helping to put the spotlight on mental health.
Mr Davenport said on the day that Community Games were looking forward to a spectacular festival in August and that all participants could look up to Bressie as a role model in promoting healthy living throughout their lives.
Speaking at the event, Bressie said: “When I took part in the Community Games I loved the feeling of representing my local area and town and it always gave me such a motivation to do well. I was a competitive young fella!”
Bressie also gave some great tips to the young participants on how best to keep active: “Find a sport you love. There asre so many sports and just because your friends may love rugby or soccer you don’t have to play it.
“Life is too short to do something you don’t enjoy and when there is so much choice there is no reason not to give everything a shot.”
With such focus on finding the right balance in life, Niall spoke about the link between physical activity, eating well and feeling good about yourself.
“As you grow older this link becomes much clearer. Sports has a profound impact on your mental health and when you are happy in body and mind, you have more confidence and this all filters down into your private and professional life”.
The HSE Community Games has teamed up this year with Healthy Ireland, the new national initiative that is promoting health and wellbeing throughout the country.
Dr Cate Hartigan said the they were delighted to support Community Games and to make it part of our Healthy Ireland programme. Encouraging more children, families and communities to be active and to see the enormous benefits that this can bring, is one of the most important changes that we all want to see in Ireland.
On top of that, the community participation and volunteerism that is an essential part of Community Games adds to our shared wellbeing in towns and villages nationwide.
The first National Festival weekend will take place from August 15-17, and while there are over 30 activities taking place in Athlone IT, Westmeath will have competitors taking part in art, cross country, grass cycling, culture corner, gymnastics, swimming and pitch and putt.
The second weekend – August 22/24 – will see Westmeath competitors competing in athletics, field events, marathon, basketball, futsal, model making, solo singing, solo music and recitation.
A full National Final Schedule has been emailed to all Area Secretaries and would ask the Secretaries to pass on the details of day and time of their events to their competitors taking part.
Westmeath will have up to two hundred competitors taking part in the National Finals and we take this opportunity to wish each and every one of them a very successful and enjoyable National Festival.
National fees due
Our sincere thanks to all the Areas and parents who have sent in their fees for the National Finals. Areas must ensure that every child and team manager has paid the €25 fee now.
If any competitor fails to turn up after registration, they, or your area will still be liable for this fee. The county have to send all monies up front to National and they don’t allow refunds.
ID Badges will be sent to Area Secretaries early August. Every competitor and team manager MUST have an ID Badge to take part in competition and if a competitor fails to bring their badge or they lose it, it will cost €5 to have a replacement badge done.
Area Secretaries have received a draft schedule for both weekends in Athlone and parents should check out the programme with their Secretaries.
Dates for your diary
National Finals – first weekend: August 15/17 and, second weekend August 22/24 in Athlone IT.