The town was alive with the sound of laughter! In what was one of the most anticipated days in the mist of covid-19, Monday 12th April was like Christmas morning all over again! With restrictions easing, training permitted and schools back, our club coaches and mentors of all groups and sports opened the gates to the excited young (and not so young) of the club who wanted nothing more than to feel the turf, hold the hurl and appreciate the smell of the O’Neill’s leather again! With Pairc Liam Ui ir, Milltown and St.Marks all being utilised all week it was as if a collective weight had been lifted from the entire community. Many thanks to players, coaches and parents for the continued observance of covid measures and regulations.
In football, with the exception of the very youngest footballers all age groups returned to training this week. With boots, water bottles, cones and whistles dusted down it was all systems go, when the eagerly anticipated return finally arrived.
Our ladies football teams made their way back onto the pitches to get back into action. Judging by the numbers seen at all training sessions, the ladies were keen to get back & stuck into preparations for competitive action, once permissible. Whilst there was clearly some rustiness with the skills & fitness levels will need work, the enthusiasm certainly has not been diminished during the break. Great to see all the ladies back on the grass, with smiles on their faces.
The Senior & U17 Hurlers were first to break the imposed fast of lockdown & an absence from playing/training since the end of last summer. The U9s, U13s & U15s followed suit on Tuesday & Wednesday, with a good turnout, numbers at training were encouraging. Although all these teams were eager to get back & enjoyed being able to take to the Hurling fields and train with their friends & team mates, it was evident that everyone was just relieved & in need of getting back to some sort of normal active lifestyle. The most jubilation came from the excited U7’s who were back training on Friday, the excitement was palpable and encouraging for years ahead. A great deal of work has yet to be done with all age groups but with large numbers at u7’s and the seniors playing two championships this year (the 2020 JHC was curtailed due to the 2nd lockdown), there will be plenty to keep the coaches busy in 2021.