The sunshine beamed down over SETU Sports Campus in Carlow for the 2022 Aldi Community Games National Track and Field finals on Saturday 13th August.
2,000 children, along with their families and supporters, totalling over 4,000, travelled from all over Ireland to the event to represent their County with pride. The event was livestreamed to an audience of over 30,000 on both Facebook and YouTube.
Throughout the day, 28 different track events from mixed relays to 100m race events and 14 field events from ball throw to long puck took place in the beautiful surrounds of SETU Sports Campus Carlow in the blistering sunshine. A host of experienced Community Games volunteers were in attendance to make sure the day ran smoothly and to hand out over 7,000 bottles of Aldi water ensuring everyone was hydrated on a very warm day in the sunny south east!
For the children taking part, it was a day of excitement and nerves. These children aged from 6 to 16 already have a lot to be proud about having qualified in their Area final, then County Final then Regional Final (for track events) to make it to the National Finals.
Community Games Ambassadors and past participants - Jesse Osas, Sarah Quinn, Adeyemi Talabi and Conor Cusack were present on the day to celebrate and encourage the children taking part.
SETU President Professor Veronica Campbell attended on the day along with Mayor of Carlow Fintan Phelan and Cathaoirleach of Carlow County Council Brian O’Donoghue.
Being able to attend a large physical sporting event again brought huge joy for the children and communities of Ireland and everyone at Community Games
President of Aldi Community Games Gerry McGuinness said ‘This was a marvellous event showcasing the talent from every County in Ireland for track and field. Every child was a credit to themselves and their locality. Congratulations to one and all. I would like to thank SETU Carlow for the use of their amazing facilities and their support in the organising of this event. I would also like to thank our outstanding volunteers, who as always make these events possible, and our sponsors Aldi Ireland and Bus Éireann and Transport for Ireland. We look forward to hosting our next event, the National Cultural and Arts Finals on the 27th and 28th of August at the VISUAL Centre and St Patrick’s College in Carlow. This will be a celebration of the Arts and Culture and will be a colourful and entertaining weekend for everyone attending. It’s a date for the diary and open to the general public.”
David Hoysted, Chief Executive of Aldi Community Games added: “The event today was a great success! The atmosphere on the ground was electric with children and families from all over Ireland enjoying a colourful and exciting day out! The event was live streamed to an audience of 30,000 people and it was lovely to see families from all over the World reconnect over social media as they commentated on their nieces or nephews running on the track. Looking forward to next year already.”
Eleanor Farrell, Chief Commercial Officer, Bus Éireann said: “Bus Éireann is at the heart of communities throughout the country. We are proud to be Aldi Community Games official travel partner for the third year and to see so many local communities coming together and showing their support for the games is really something special. Today’s events highlight the remarkable talents of over 2,000 children in communities across Ireland.”
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