Juvenile Cross-Country Competition 2021

The County Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships at Moyne CS on 10 October kicks off the cross-country season. This event also serves as a qualifier to the Connacht schools finals in Sligo on 23 October.

Provincial club cross-country races will then take place on the subsequent two weekends:

Sunday, 31 October – Connacht Even Ages (U12/U14/U16/U18), Ballina

Sunday, 7 November – Connacht Uneven Ages (U11/U13/U15/U17/U19), Galway

Below is the breakdown of age categories and the distances ran in each.

The ‘one year up’ entry policy applies meaning a child can run on both days if they are interested. For example, a child in the Under 12 age category can also run in Under 13.

Furthermore, the Under 11 category is also open to Under 10’s (children born in 2012). This is the youngest age group permitted in 2021 events.

The Connacht races are qualifiers for the Nationals which take place in late-Nov / early-Dec.

Sunday Training

A new Sunday morning training session at the Mall will begin on 3 October at 10am to help with preparation ahead of the these cross-country competitions.

Sunday morning is of course when Junior parkrun takes place and we encourage members, aged 14 and under, to do Junior parkrun as it is in itself very good preparation for the distances ran in cross country. The 10am session can merely be a short supplementary run on grass for those children that do Junior parkrun. For those not doing Junior parkrun, they can run a little longer!

The Sunday morning session will take place on October 3, 17 and 24.

Entries for both Connacht club events – October 31 and November 7 – will be finalised at training on October 17 so attendance on that morning is required.

Juvenile Age Categories – 2021
Category / Year of Birth

Cross Country Distances for each Category

The wearing of spikes is recommended, although not essential, for children who are interested in cross-country races. Spikes can be purchased online and can cost in the region of €30 with no major difference in quality among the usual brands.
Some shops, such as the Sports Outlet in Mullingar, may have them in stock. They should come with 9mm spike pins/studs which is the preferred length for cross country.

Co. Longford Primary Schools Cross Country Championships

Next month sees the return of the schools cross-country which will take place at Moyne Community School on Sunday, 10 October.

Registration will begin at 3pm with the first race starting at 4pm. There are four races which all serve as qualifiers to the Connacht Championships:

  • 3rd & 4th Class Girls: 800 metres
  • 3rd & 4th Class Boys: 800 metres
  • 5th & 6th Class Girls: 1000 metres
  • 5th & 6th Class Boys: 1000 metres

The top finishers and the three best teams in each race qualify for the Connachts.

Entry on the day is €3 per child. There is no limit on the number of athletes entered from a school in each race. Children can run as individuals and, if there are enough from the same school in each race, they can also form a team. A team consists of at most 6 athletes with the first 4 finishers counting towards the team score.

It would be great to see all schools from around the county represented.

There will also be races for Secondary School students which will be good preparation for those athletes ahead of Connacht club competition.

Report from Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships and Children’s Team Games

Longford AC had seven young athletes lined up to participate at the Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships and Children’s Team Games in Tullamore on Saturday Aug 21st. Weather-wise it was a day of two halves with competitors competing in the morning having to endure very wet conditions. Thankfully for athletes and spectators the sun made an appearance in the afternoon.

Jack O’Farrell was first up for the club, competing in the u13 60m hurdles. Jack ran a great heat, finishing second in a time of 10.64 seconds. In the final, Jack improved on his time (10.48) and was just off the medals.

Sophia Carey ran in the u12 600m. The race was hard and fast from the outset, and Sophia did very well to hold her own in a very strong field.

Oisín Dillon competed in the u12 60m & 600m. In his sprint heat, Oisin ran 8.96 ensuring qualification for the final. The final was very competitive and he didn’t manage to medal. Oisín was on the track again for the 600m. He was well in contention with 100m to go, but was unfortunate not to be in the mix in the sprint for the line.

Oisin competed in the 60m and the 600m

John Fitzpatrick & Setanta Smith participated in two events. In the u11 pairs turbo javelin both boys threw well, and were unlucky not to medal. Next up for the boys was the pairs 600m. They gave their all in these very competitive races.

John and Setanta performed well in the pairs turbo javelin and 600m.

Andrew Fitzpatrick & Dáire Grealy were to participate in the u9 pairs turbo javelin. The boys had taken gold in the event at the Connacht qualifiers so expectations were high. Despite being in the stadium for the event, Daire was unfortunately unable to compete, so Andrew competed on his own and proceeded to throw 15.65m – the furthest of all competitors. Well done Andrew.

turbo javelin u9 champions

Andrew and Dáire – paired in the turbo javelin

Well done to all athletes – it was a great achievement to qualify from the Connachts and represent the province and your club so well.

Irish Life Health National Juvenile Track & Field Championships update

We had another day of competition at the national championships in Tullamore last Saturday. Well done to Caitlin Maher who competed in the u17 1500m. Caitlin ran well in a competitive field and improved on her time in the Connachts.

The club has another batch of young athletes competing at the championships this coming weekend.  Jack O’Farrell competes in the u13 60m hurdles, Sophia Carey in the u12 600m, Oisin Dillon in the u12 60m & 600m, John Fitzpatrick & Setanta Smith in the u11 pairs turbo javelin and pairs 600m, and Andrew Fitzpatrick & Dáire Grealy in the u9 pairs turbo javelin. We wish the best of luck to the boys and girls – just do your best!

The following are the projected start times for tomorrow’s events. Please note that these can be subject to change.

You can view all the action on Saturday on the Athletics Ireland YouTube channel where there will be a live stream:


Athletics Ireland Guidelines

  • Only one adult only can accompany each athlete at the venue.
  • Covid questionnaire must be completed by everyone attending on the day of the event
  • A face mask must be worn at all times except during warm up and competition for athletes

For full guidelines visit https://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/childrens-games-u12-u13-championships-and-youth-ce

2021 Outdoor Track and Field Championships

We hope that your child is enjoying the weekly Friday evening athletics. With the continued easing of restrictions, it is expected that juvenile club competition will take place this summer.

The Connacht Athletics Board has tentatively set the following dates for holding the 2021 outdoor Track and Field Championships at Athlone IT:

Saturday, July 10th: Under 11 two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011)

Saturday, July 17th: Under 14 – Under 19 (children born in or before 2008)

Sunday, July 18th: Under 12 & Under 13 (children born in 2010 or 2009)

If your child is in the under 11 – 13 age categories, and is interested in competing, please complete the form below which contains the list of events (maximum 2 events for children born in 2011). We request that it be submitted by Saturday, June 12th.


There are a greater number of events in the under 14 – 19 age categories and more information regarding these will be communicated to those members at Friday evening training.

Additional Training Session Every Sunday

In advance of the above dates, an additional weekly training session will take place for all age groups of under 11-19 on Sunday mornings at 10am at the Mall commencing on June 13th. For children intending on competing at the Championships, attendance at the Sunday session is essential to help better prepare for competition. The Connacht event also serves as a qualifier to the Nationals which will take place in August.

Paddy’s Sprints Group (group JA7) – Athlone Training

For this coming Friday, June 11th, Paddy’s sprints group (group JA7) will hold their training session on the track at Athlone IT at 6.30pm. If your child is in this group and wishes to attend the session at AIT on Friday, please email pro.longfordac@gmail.com to confirm.

Weekly Notes – 7th June 2021

Connacht Track & Field

The Connacht Junior, Senior and Masters Track & Field championships took place on Bank Holiday Monday in Dangan, Galway. Five club members competed in what was for most their return to competition for the first time in over a year and all five recorded podium finishes.

Yemi Talabi was first in the junior womens 100m having earlier placed second in the long jump. Gospel Idahor set the fastest time in the senior womens 200m and was second in the 100m. Also doubling up in the sprint events was Aaron Kelly with second fastest in the senior mens 100m and third in the 200m.

New member Mitko Kozhuharov took on two field events finishing second in both the senior mens javelin and shot put.

Barry Sheil was first in the masters 3000m.

Well done all. Thanks to the organisers and event officials, including our own Paddy McPhillips, for the staging of the meet.

Juvenile T&F:

The Connacht Juvenile T&F Outdoor Championships have been tentatively set for July at Athlone IT. July 10 is the opening day which is for the under 11 age group two-event ‘Team Games’ (for children born in 2011). The under 14 – 19 age category events (children born in or before 2008) will be held on July 17. On the following day, July 18, competition for under 12 / 13 events will be staged for children born in 2010 or 2009. An expression of interest email has been sent to parents to confirm if their child wishes to participate.

For children intending on competing, an additional weekly training session will take place on Sundays at 10am at the Mall from June 13 for the weeks leading up to the Connachts. Attendance at this session is essential to help better prepare for competition.

Track & Field Meet for Senior/Masters and U17 – U19 Connacht athletes

Connacht Athletics has announced a track and field meet for Senior/Masters and U17 – U19 Connacht athletes on Bank Holiday Monday, June 7, at Dangan in Galway. Entries are limited due to restrictions on the numbers attending such events from June 7. The meet is being staged primarily aimed to those preparing for upcoming national championships.

Club members interested in competing must submit their expression of interest by email to longfordac@gmail.com by Friday, May 28. Although there is no provision for spectators to attend, juveniles will be allowed one accompanying adult if required.

It is anticipated that Connacht Championships, for the younger juvenile age categories of U9 – U16, will take place in late July to be followed by Nationals in August. Dates to be confirmed.

Weekly Notes – 26th April 2021

Juvenile and Little Athletics Return to Training

Juvenile and Little Athletics return this Friday 30 April at 6.30pm and we look forward to seeing our young members back as well as the new members starting with the club. We have received a lot of interest and the start time may be altered for subsequent Fridays to cater for the numbers of children. This will be confirmed and communicated in due course via email and the Longford AC Facebook page.

Training sessions will be structured in accordance with Athletics Ireland guidelines. Each child will be allocated to a group of at most 14 members of similar age. Details regarding training, including the health screening form which must be completed by a parent on behalf of their child prior to each session, have been emailed out. 

Help from Parents

Club training aims to be fun, varied and carried out in a safe manner. With this in mind, we very much welcome help from parents such as with assisting our coaches with the supervision of a group to ensure the smooth running of the session.

Athletics Ireland Registration

All children attending must be registered for 2021 with membership to be processed using the Athletics Ireland website by 6 May. The membership fee is €25 per child. Once one completes the online renewal or new registration process, a confirmation email is received from Athletics Ireland. For any queries, such as retrieving an existing membership number, please email pro.longfordac@gmail.com.

Senior Training

There is currently no confirmation yet as to when senior training can return as we await the next Government announcement regarding the easing of restrictions. 


Juvenile & Little Athletics Training Groups at Capacity

kids running

Thanks to all who completed the expression of interest form ahead of our return to club training on Friday, 30th April. Parents will receive an email with further details in the coming days. Our training groups are now at capacity. For anyone who wishes to add their child to the waiting list, in case places become available, please message us directly on our Facebook page or email pro.longfordac@gmail.com

Juveniles & Little Athletics Return to Training

Great news! Following the lifting of restrictions on outdoor training, juveniles and Little Athletics will return on Friday 30th April at 6.30pm in The Mall. Training for both groups will be outdoors on the Astro pitch. Following the long break, our coaches look forward to returning and seeing our young members back out enjoying their athletics and having fun.

Training sessions will be structured in accordance with Athletics Ireland guidelines. Each child will be allocated to a group of at most 15 members of similar age.

  • Little Athletics is for children aged 6-9 and involves the coaching of the fundamentals of athletics.
  • Juvenile Athletics, for older members, involves a mix of sprints, jumps, throws and middle-distance activities.

Expression of Interest – Now Closed

As of 25th April, we have reached our limits with regard to the number of children we can provide training for. As such we are currently closed for new juveniles and Little Athletics. 


All children attending training must be registered for 2021. The membership fee is €25 per child. Returning members from last year can renew using the link below. We also welcome new members who can also register using the link below. We request that membership applications are processed on the Athletics Ireland site by May 6th.

Registration: https://membership.athleticsireland.ie/index.html

Once the renewal or new registration process is complete, you will receive a confirmation email from Athletics Ireland. Parents who processed membership renewal or new registration already in 2021, on behalf of their child, are asked to check that they have received the email and/or that payment has appeared on their bank account. We have seen some examples of incomplete applications on the registration portal.

For any queries regarding renewals, such as retrieving one’s membership number, please message us via Facebook or email pro.longfordac@gmail.com