A very successful first weekend of Community Games Festival 2015 in Athlone!
Athlone welcomed over 10,000 visitors as the 2015 HSE Community Games Festival got underway for its first weekend of events from 14th to 16th August. Thousands of children took part and thousands more are set to take part next weekend - 21st to 23rd August for the second weekend of activities.
Kevin Kilbane was in Athlone IT on Friday 14th August to help launch the 2015 HSE Community Games Festival and pointed out that when he was growing up it was all about winning, especially at a professional level but that he has now come full circle and realised that being involved in sport is much more about participation and taking part than about winning. He praised Community Games on its vision and message and said he even felt a pang of nostalgia as he watched the Indoor Soccer U10 match.
Minister for sport Paschal Donohoe echoed his sentiments and spoke about his very fond memories of HSE Community Games growing up. He was delighted to see HSE Community Games alive and well and complimented Athlone IT on its excellent facilities.
This year HSE Community Games is teaming up once again with Healthy Ireland, with an emphasis on healthy eating, as Athlone IT serves up only healthy options for resident children.
Speaking ahead of the Community Games Festival, Dr. Cate Hartigan from the HSE says: “By teaming up with Healthy Ireland, we want to encourage even more children, families and communities to be active, so everyone can experience the enormous benefits. This 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. I wish all of our participants, volunteers, coaches and supporters a wonderful time and to thoroughly enjoy what I hope will be a great experience”.
HSE Community Games has long attracted volunteers from all walks of life. In 2014, more than 10,000 volunteers donated their time and energy to the 200,000 children who take part in the HSE Community Games.
Dr. Cate Hartigan makes no bones about where the credit for the success of the HSE Community Games lies: with the 10,000 volunteers donating their time to make it happen; “HSE Community Games has a very special place in people's hearts for promoting camaraderie and friendly competition but its success is also a testament to the work of our volunteers. Whether they give a week, a day or an hour of their time, volunteers are critical to the success of the games”.
As weekend 1 winds down, preparations have already begun at Athlone IT to welcome a new set of children whose hearts are set on winning gold and who always go home with memories and friends - whether they win or lose!
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