North West Games, Athlone – for Athletes 10+

The 4th Annual NORTH WEST INDOOR GAMES takes place on Saturday December 29th, 2018 at AIT Indoor Arena. All Clubs in Connacht have been invited to take part. Please open document to see more details.

The first event starts at 10am, detailed timetable and order of events will be issued a few days before. The Events are based on 2018 age groups (*you can move up a year for more challenge!)

All entries must be submitted and paid to organising County next week. They will NOT accept any late entry or no entries on the day. Deadline for Longford AC entries is 5pm on Monday December 10th.

The Indoor Track & Field Season starts in January and all children will move up 1 age group on January 1st. All children Born in 2008 will be U12 for all competitions in 2019.

This competition on Dec 29th is optional and is a pre-season warm up!

If your child is interested to compete please email longfordac@gmail.com with child’s name, date of birth and events they want to enter (maximum is 3 events).

Ganly’s Longford Sports Star Awards 2018

The Annual Longford Sports Star Awards for 2018 take place this Friday evening, November 16th at The Rustic Inn, Abbeyshrule. This is the 2nd year Ganley’s have sponsored the Awards which are organised by the Longford Sports Partnership and the Longford Leader to recognise the achievements of Longford athletes in a wide variety of sports from local level progressing to provincial, national and international platforms.

It was fantastic to see several Longford Athletics Club members, Adrianna Melia, Issy Masterson, Yemi and Funmi Talabi, all selected in the monthly categories. Congratulations to both Nelvin Appiah and Cian McPhillips who will be presented with a memento on the night for being voted as one of the monthly winners. Several of the juvenile coaches will be in attendance on the night and are all looking forward to hear Guest of Honour John Treacy, the CEO of Sport Ireland, Irish Olympian and cross country World Champion.

There will be great anticipation on the night to hear who has been selected Junior Sportsperson of the Year, Community/Club Volunteer of the Year, Hall of Fame inductee and Sports Ability Award.

ganleys 2018 awards

ganleys 2018 awards

Connacht Uneven Ages Cross Country Championships

11 November 2018 at Belleek Woods, Ballina, Co. Mayo

The wet and cold conditions made the second day of the Connacht Cross Country Championships for the Uneven age groups a real challenge as Longford athletes took on the rolling hills at Belleek Woods in Ballina, County Mayo last Sunday.

The weather was quickly forgotten as Longford Athletics Club had a marvellous start to the day with Rachel Keenan becoming U11 Girls Connacht Champion. Rachel set off at a blistering pace hot on the heels of the leader and almost immediately they both opened up a lead. Rachel held her position until about 100 meters to go where she kicked for home passing the leader and becoming 2018 U11 Girls Connacht Champion. Emma Brennan ran with great determination and a battling spirit coming home not far behind Rachel near the front of the race in an excellent 14th position. Both girls ran on Day One a year ahead in the U12 race and this strategy gave them increased confidence for their excellent performances on Day Two.



Rachel Keenan, the new Connacht Champion, stands proudly on the podium to receive her 1st place Gold Connacht medal in the U11 girls 1500m cross country in Ballina on November 11th, 2018

Senan McWeeney was our only competitor in the U11 Boys 1500m race. This was Senan’s first Club cross country race and he ran hard from the off and showed he has the determination needed for tough cross country racing. Sian Gallagher and Evie O’Rourke Grant both ran in the U13 Girls 2500m race. Sian ran strongly and was always well up in the first half of runners finishing in 25th place. Evie showed her determination working hard all the way to the finish on such a challenging day. Kenagh’s Stephen McGinity ran in the U13 Boys race of nearly 60 runners. He got stuck in from the start and battled hard to finish well positioned in 36th place.

Kate Hagan raced in the very competitive U15 Girls 3500m race with many of the top athletes she ran against last week. Kate started in the middle of the pack and gradually worked herself up into a leading group of six. This strong group ran together pulling well clear of everybody else. The group began to stretch out with just over a lap remaining with Kate working hard to finish in an excellent 5th place. This achievement sees her qualify through to the national finals in both U15 and U16 age groups.

The U15 Girls 3500m race as they take on the rolling hills at Belleek Woods in Ballina with Longford AC’s Kate Hagan well positioned to take 5th place and qualify for Nationals.

Last up for Longford AC was Jack Gallagher in the U15 Boys race. Jack set his stall out from the gun leading the race out over the first 800m. Jack consolidated his position over the next lap running just behind the leader. The final third of the race became a real of test of resilience for Jack, his early exertions were beginning to take their toll and Jack slipped back to 4th position. Jack showed great character and no small amount of determination to surge again and reclaim 3rd place and an excellent finish on the podium to claim Connacht Bronze.


Jack Gallagher ran a very determined race to win Connacht Bronze in the U15 Boys 3500m cross country

Longford was happy with their results over the course of the two days of the Connacht Cross Country Championships with Rachel Keenan, Kate Hagan and Cian McPhillips all doing the double to qualify for Athletics Ireland Nationals in their own age groups as well as the year ahead as well as Jack Gallagher qualifying this week for U15 Boys.

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championships

4 November 2018 at Sligo Race Course

A small but dedicated group of Longford Athletics Club Juvenile athletes travelled to Sligo last Sunday, 4th November, to compete in the annual Even Ages Connacht Cross Country Championships.

First up were Rachel Keenan and Emma Brennan in the U12 girls 2K race. Both girls are still U11 so they were running in an age group one year up. After a blistering start both girls ran really well over the tough cross country course. Rachel did very well finishing in 9th place, winning a bronze medal and qualifying for the Athletics Ireland National finals in 3 weeks’ time. Emma who was running her first Club cross country race showed great potential to finish 20th with girls a year older. This was good practice for both Rachel and Emma as they will be back in action next weekend in their own U11 age group running the 1500m race in Ballina.

Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championships

Longford Athletics Club juveniles Kate Hagan U16, Cian McPhillips, U18, Rachel Keenan U12 and Caoimhe Crossan U14 all competed in the Connacht Even Ages Cross Country Championships last weekend at Sligo Racecourse with several qualifying for Athletics Ireland National finals at the end of November.

Caoimhe Crossan ran in the U14 girls 3K race. Again this race over two difficult laps started at a hectic pace. Caoimhe settled into her running and moved through the field strongly on her second lap to finish in the top half in a very good 24th position.

Kate Hagan ran in the combined U16, U18 and Junior girls 4K race. Kate is still U15 this year so this race saw her running against girls much older. She went out fast and was always near the front of the race. It was difficult for Kate to know where she stood in her own age category in this mixed age race so taking no chances she ran hard all the way to the line. When the results were posted Kate was delighted to have finished 5th place in U16s ahead of many talented older athletes and has qualified for the All-Ireland again this year.

The final Longford AC juvenile to run was Cian McPhillips running a year up in the U18 boys 6K race which was combined with the Junior boys U20 race. Cian settled on the shoulder of one of the best U20 athletes in the country early on and they both quickly moved clear of the other competitors. Cian looked very comfortable as he matched this quality athlete three years his senior stride for stride for the first two and half laps until he pressed on and opened up a 40 meter gap to win comfortably, taking Gold in U18 boys and guaranteeing another day of running in the National Championships. Cian will also be competing next weekend in Mayo in his proper U17 age group.

Well done to our juveniles that competed very well today and were prepared to challenge themselves against the best in Connacht on a testing cross country course. Three have qualified for All-Ireland competition at the end of November with another Provincial race for Uneven Ages on the calendar for next Sunday.

Secondary School Athletes – Indoor Strength & Conditioning

For 6 weeks, starting on Monday November 12th, 6:55-8pm in the gymnasium at The Mall.

Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country results

View results here

Cross Country Fixtures 2018

Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships, includes a race for 1st\2nd year secondary school students  (NO senior race this year)

Saturday 29th September 2018 at Moyne Community School. Races start at 5pm sharp

Distances: 3rd/4th Class 800m, 5th/6th Class 1000m (1st/2nd  year Girls 1600m, Boys 2000m)

Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Championships

Saturday 13th October 2018 at Bushfield, Loughrea, Galway. Races start at 12 noon sharp

Distances: 3rd/4th Class 1000m, 5th/6th Class 1200m.

AND Senior Leg 1 Senior league, women and O65 men 4km, men 8km, start time approx. 1.30pm women, 2.00pm men. From the AGM in 2017 it was decided to include a separate masters club team category alongside the open team category. It was felt that the age for the masters would make a better competition if it were increased to 40. When entering the League athletes must declare their category and then they cannot change it for the rest of the competition and they are only eligible to point in that category. All athletes must be over 18 to run in the league. Men over 65 can choose to run 4km as an individual or 8km to point for a team. Novice- must not have previously won an individual medal in the Connacht competition. Senior/Open- must be over 18. Masters- over 40.  No entry on the day.

Connacht Even Ages (U12 born 2007, U14 born 2005, U16 born 2003, U18 born 2001)

AND Senior Leg 2 approx. 2pm women (likely in conjunction with the U18’s), 2.30pm men. Same info as Leg 1.  No entry on the day.

Sunday 4th November 2018 at Sligo Racecourse, races start at 12 noon

For Club Team: 4-6 athletes to run with 4 to score, County Team: 6-10 athletes to run with 6 to score

Medals: First 12 individuals plus first 3 teams

U12 (born 2007) – 2000m U14 (born 2005) – 3000m

U16 (born 2003) – 4000m U18 (born 2001) Girls – 4000m, Boys – 6000m

Connacht Uneven Ages (U11 born 2008, U13 born 2006, U15 born 2004, U17 born 2002)

AND Senior Leg 3 approx. 2pm women (likely in conjunction with the U18’s), 2.30pm men. Same info as Leg 1.  No entry on the day.

Sunday 11th November 2018 at Belleek Woods, Ballina, County Mayo

For Club Team: 4-6 athletes to run with 4 to score, County Team: 6-10 athletes to run with 6 to score

Medals: First 12 individuals plus first 3 teams

U11 (born 2008) – 1500m U13 (born 2006) – 2500m

U15 (born 2004) – 3500m U17 (born 2002) Girls – 4000m, Boys – 5000m

 Cross Country Nationals:

Sunday 25th November 2018, National Even Ages, Seniors, Juniors Cross Country, at National Sports Campus,  Abbottstown, Dublin

Saturday 15th December 2018, National Uneven Ages, Novice Cross Country – Navan Adventure Centre, Navan racecourse

Sunday 3rd February 2019, National Intermediate, Masters, Juvenile ‘B’ Cross Country and Relays, at National Sports Campus,  Abbottstown, Dublin

Confirming Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Races Going Ahead as Scheduled

Confirming Connacht Primary Schools Cross Country Races are going ahead as scheduled TOMORROW Saturday Oct 13th at Bushfield, Loughrea, Galway. start at 12 noon Sharp, plan to arrive by 11:30am

Pilates Instruction- new training initiative for competing teenage athletes


Pilates instruction was recently introduced as a new training initiative for competing teenage athletes. Pilates is a series of supervised exercises built on each week with emphasis on alignment, breathing, and developing a strong core (muscles of the abdomen, low back, and hips), leading to the benefit of improving coordination and balance.

15 of the Club’s top performing teenage athletes were offered a 6 week block of Pilates instruction in May-June this year. This pilot project was aimed at the secondary school athletes that had the most potential to do well in the upcoming Outdoor Track & Field season at both Club and school competitions. Although not all were available to attend a group of 10 took the opportunity to try it and learned new skills. Lisa Burns from Longford Fitness put them through their paces each week. The small group ensured individual attention to getting the controlled movements right.

A booklet on Nutrition prepared by Coaching Ireland with emphasis on healthy choices for competition days and what to eat after exercise for recovery was given to each participant. Every week healthy snacks were provided, giving the teenagers examples that they can easily do for themselves. The importance of hydration before and after exercise as well demonstrations of the correct techniques for using a foam roller were also part of the classes.

The Club is undertaking a project through the Healthy Ireland Fund to promote athletics across the county and to introduce new skills and events to underage athletes. Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from Longford LCDC, Pobal, Healthy Ireland and the Department of Health.

Important Messages for Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships Medallists

2 important messages for all individual and team medalists from the recent Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships:

5th\6th Class individual AND team medallists are invited to compete in the Inter County Cross Country Race for Longford & Offaly at Tullamore Harriers Stadium, Oct 5th, 2018 @7pm sharp. Please arrive by 6:30pm for warm up. This is free and a great chance to get in training before the Connacht race. One of the coaches from Longford AC will be in Tullamore to meet all the children from Longford when they arrive.

The first 10 Individual finishers & top 3 Teams in each race qualify for the Connaught Primary Schools Cross Country taking place on Saturday October 13th in Bushfield, Loughrea, Co. Galway, races start at 12 noon sharp. Please plan to arrive by 11:15am so that the children can walk the course and do a warm up\stretch. All entry fees will be paid by Longford AC. One parent or teacher per school to be responsible to collect the envelope with race numbers for your school at the registration desk when you arrive.