Over 1,000 talented children along with their families and supporters from all over Ireland travelled to VISUAL Art Theatre and St Patrick’s College Carlow this weekend to take part in the second of the Aldi Community Games National Finals Events.
Children aged between six and sixteen took part in the National Arts and Culture Finals in a host of different events including Art, Handwriting, Singing, Dancing, Chess, Model Making and more. Over 600 medals were awarded to the exceptionally talented children.
Ivan Suprunenko wowed the judges with his piano skills – clinching a gold medal in U16 Solo Music. All the more poignant – Ivan has only been in the country 5 months, having left Ukraine for the very welcoming county of Roscommon. He has been keeping up his lessons via Zoom with his teacher back home. After winning, Ivan brought his talent to the outdoor public stage to an enthralled audience with his parents beaming proudly on!
The colourful and lively celebrations were open to the public with many outdoor events available for free to entertain the crowds - including Giant Chess, Magic Shows, Parades, Music, Face-painting, Stilt Walkers, Penalty Shoot-outs, Skittles and much more. It was a very special event for all the family and magical for the children.
The event was officially opened by Darragh O’Connell, Creative Director of Brown Bag Films. Darragh co-founded Brown Bag Films in 1994 with Cathal Gaffney. He produced the short films Give Up Yer Aul Sins which was nominated for an Oscar® at the 2002 Academy Awards®, and Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty which received an Oscar® nomination at the Academy Awards® in 2010. Darragh is a proud silver medallist in Art for Kildare Community Games and was presented with his first Community Games Gold Medal on stage by Community Games President Gerry McGuinness.
Speaking to the children, Darragh commented:
“I am very inspired to see the level of talent and commitment from the children here today I can see future animators and maybe even Oscar nominees in the making.”
Brown Bag Films held four very engaging digital animation workshops free of charge for Community Games children and screened episodes of Karma's World and Ada Twist, Scientist in a special Cinema Room for the younger audience.
Brown Bag Films chats with us about their Community Games' connections
Bus Éireann, National Travel Partner of Community Games had a team on site to meet and greet participants, family and friends this weekend as well as having treats and prizes in for some lucky children!
President of Aldi Community Games Gerry McGuinness said:
“This event exceeded all our expectations! It was a true celebration of the Arts and Culture and the talent from the children was simply phenomenal! It was inspiring to see so many children get up on stage and perform to the general public to cheers and applause. After a hiatus of 2 years due to the pandemic, it’s wonderful that these children have an audience to entertain once again.”
David Hoysted, Chief Executive of Aldi Community Games added:
“As always, the focal point of this Event was the children – we started the weekend off with a parade with Community Games children and the Cloughjordan Community Circus who brought their own life-size puppet elephant along! We had Stilt walkers, magic shows, animation workshops, face-painting, skittles, giant chess – you name it - to entertain the audience and the music and colour really added to the celebrations. I was simply awestruck by the level of talent this weekend – singers, dancers, artists, writers, musicians, chess players – one thing is sure – the future is bright with these children leading the way!”
The next National Finals Event for Community Games takes place on 24th September in the University of Limerick for the Swimming and Outdoor Teams Event.
All the results are available here!
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