Thanks so much to Miss Universe Ireland Joanna Cooper for sharing her experience of Community Games with us. Joannna still has her Gold Medal from Community Games and keeps it in a very safe place. She is proof that with Community Games there are Endless Possibilities!
"I was first introduced to Community Games through my aunt Janice, who is now Honorary Treasurer of Community Games. She had encouraged me to get involved from a young age.
Community Games helped me immensely in terms of confidence, it's a daunting experience being 9 years old and spending a weekend with children you've never met, but after the first weekend it left me with a love of meeting new people and I returned every year.
The Community Games experience gave me the confidence to try new things, even if I was really really bad at them (I have tried everything from high jump to ball throw, very unsuccessfully) but the main aim of the weekends were always to have fun.
Areas are easily set up when a group of people with interest in CG come together and with the aid of a member of the County Executive set up a small committee to perform tasks such as organising games and various competitions for children within their designated area.
Being an active member in my community has enabled me to now try and give back to CG what I gained from it in the first place. Because of my own experience with CG I love the fact that I am now in a position to encourage young people to get involved and can give them first hand knowledge on what it was like both as a competitor and then as a volunteer.
My own experience with Community Games has been super - from the excitement of travelling as a 9 year old to Mosney, sharing the "wonderful" chalets with a group of girls I didn't know but who are still now my very close friends to working in Athlone as a volunteer, directing traffic........me directing traffic.......;-)
Community Games epitomises all that is great about the young people in Ireland, they come together, work together and play together in a totally carefree environment creating friendships that last lifetimes. My hope for Community Games is that every single child in Ireland is afforded the chance to participate in Community Games at some level, whether it be the excitement of the Area/County Finals or the actual National Festival, all children should experience a little of what Community Games has to offer!"
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