The sun shone in Athlone for the HSE Community Games National Finals at the weekend. The Athletics track was buzzing with excitement when Aine Holden from Carlow, an Olympic Torch Bearer in Dublin was introduced to the appreciative crowd and did a lap of the track carrying the Torch to the delight of the huge crowd of HSE Community Games supporters. It was a busy weekend for the Holden family as they were also at the games to support Aine's brother, Joseph in the Mixed Under 15 Relay. Other activities that were taking place over the weekend included Futsal, Rugby, Basketball, Hurling, Camogie and Rounders.
Great excitement at the Mini rugby when the under 11 mixed team from Tullycorbet, Co Monaghan beat Athy in Kildare 6-3 in a nail biting play off. The children were ecstatic when they got the chance to view and have photographs taken with the visiting Heineken Cup.
Another spectator enjoying the games was Brendan Boyce from Donegal who competed in the 50km walk at the London Olympics, Brendan, a former Community Games participant and silver medallist in Volleyball and Under 8 60m track event. Commenting on the games, "It is an honour to be here as a guest at the National Finals, the atmosphere was electric. I can see that there are plenty of stars of the future here."
Crowds of parents, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, friends and supporters travelled in their droves to encourage the 2,400 participants. Over 12,000 spectators came from afar including Deirdre and Conrad Golding from Balla Co Mayo who cheered on their son, Iarlath as he won the gold medal in the Boys Under 10 60m Hurdles.
Mr Gerry Davenport, President, HSE Community Games speaking at the Finals said: "The atmosphere this weekend has been superb, the fun and competitive spirit was evident throughout the campus. The sun was shining and all the participants and supporters embraced the festive occasion."
Results from the National Finals can be accessed at: www.communitygames.ie. The website will be updated regularly throughout the finals, with the results from the weekend's activities.