UNDER 8 HURLING FESTIVAL 2016 – 23rd October 2016
In the calm of last Sunday morning, a sea of multi-coloured flags fluttered gently in the autumn air on Páirc de Búrca marking out the 6 pitches which were to witness an unforgettable day filled with enthusiasm, fun and some serious hurling at the Kilmacud Crokes Under 8 Hurling Festival.
Buses and cars filled with eager young faces began rolling into Glenalbyn from Clare, Galway, Kildare, Waterford, Tipperary and Wexford in anticipation of the day of hurling ahead.
The calm was soon shattered as 24 teams of Under 8 hurlers bounded energetically onto the field to warm up for their group matches. The pace of play was ferocious with the pride of each of their parishes at stake. Our team of Kilmacud Crokes referees, Kate Maher, Louisa Curley, Nora Cragg, Roy Smith, Liam Reddy, Brian Morton, Paul Comerford and Jonathan Quinlan, ensured fair play all round. Specially commissioned 1916 – 2016 commemorative medals were presented to all of the 275 young hurlers following the highly-contested finales.
Thanks to the mentors and parents and especially the young hurlers from our visiting clubs from Ballinteer St. Johns (Dublin), Castletown Liam Mellows (Wexford), Clane (Kildare), ClooneyQuin (Clare), Craughwell (Galway), Naas (Kildare), JK Brackens (Tipperary) and Roanmore (Waterford) for travelling such distances to participate in the Festival and representing their clubs with such commitment and skill.
The day could not have been such a success without the overwhelming support of the parents of our Under 8 boys. Our visiting clubs were very complimentary of the massive collective effort which was invested in the day.
Special thanks go to all of those who helped us to prepare for the event and run it on the day. In particular thanks to all our parents who provided sandwiches and every variety of treat, the amazing catering team who made sure our visitors were warmly welcomed and well fed, the pitch co-ordinators, score keepers, announcer, traffic attendants, goal post transportation and pitch set up crews and the volunteers from the Irish Red Cross. A huge thank you to the Kilmacud Crokes Under 8 Mentors who organised and encouraged our eight teams of hurlers throughout all of their games.
Most especially, thanks and congratulations to all our boys who hurled their hearts out and represented Kilmacud Crokes with dedication and respect! We are so proud of them and how much they have progressed this year. We hope they enjoyed the day!
Check out the wonderful photographs below, which truly capture the spirit and atmosphere of the Festival.
Report by Sinéad Carey
Photos by Diarmuid Ó Gallchobhair