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Weekly News – 9th December 2019

Civic Reception

It was a great honour for the club to have been recognised by Cathaoirleach Micheal Carrigy and Longford County Council at a civic reception held in St. Mel’s College on Friday evening last. 2019 marked 50 years since the founding of our club and this milestone was acknowledged at the event. Many of those who were instrumental in keeping the club going over the decades were present as well as many of our current juvenile and senior athletes / committee. As part of the evening, three of our athletes were among those who each received a Longford County Council Sports Bursary to recognise their achievements during the year. Congratulations to Yemi Talabi, Cian McPhillips and Nelvin Appiah. Thanks to the County Council and Longford Sports Partnership for a great evening and well done to all those honoured on the night for their sporting successes as well as all the bursary recipients.

North West Indoor Games

The 5th annual North West Indoor Games, for athletes aged 10 and over, takes place on Saturday December 28th at the AIT Indoor Arena. All clubs in Connacht have been invited to take part. Visit www.longfordac.com for full details. All entries to longfordac@gmail.com by Thursday 12th December at 9pm.

Little Athletics & Juvenile Athletics

Following a break last week, Juvenile Athletics returns this Friday evening December 13th at 7pm at the Mall. Little Athletics continues as usual at 7pm on Friday in the Mall gymnasium. 


Our AGM took place on Sunday December 1st. The committee of elected officers for 2020 is: Chairman: Donal Mulligan, Vice-Chairman: John Fitzpatrick, Secretary: Edel Nolan, Assistant Secretary: Anne Brady, Treasurer: Barry Sheil, Assistant Treasurer: Michael O’Hara, PRO (Juveniles): Paul Grealy, PRO (Seniors): Barry Sheil, Assistant PRO: Leslie Finnan, Registrar: Colman Reilly, Children’s Officers: Sinead Creegan & Sean Crossan. Thank you to the outgoing members of the committee for all their hard work over the past number of years.


The club is very grateful to all who supported our fundraiser on Saturday last at the Shopping Centre for our draw to raise funds for our proposed indoor facility. Thank you to all individuals and businesses who have purchased tickets to date. We will continue our fundraising efforts ahead of the draw which will take place in the New Year. Tickets are available from club members and can be purchased on our website www.longfordac.com. Also, many thanks to all who gave up their time to sell tickets on Saturday.

Registration / New Members

2020 promises to be an exciting year for Longford Athletics Club. The performances of our junior and senior athletes in recent times on a national and international scale shows the great athletic talent within the county. We are always looking for new members and now is a great time to consider joining the club. Avail of top class coaching, have fun and benefit from training in a group environment. Our registration evening for existing and new members will take place in the Mall at 7pm on Friday, January 10th. Further details in next week’s notes.

Results Roundup

Sinead and Niall Nolan swapped the wintry Longford weather for blue skies to run at the Lanzarote Half Marathon on Saturday last. Well done to both on great runs and congratulations to Sinead whose time of 1:37 earned her third place in her age category. Here’s hoping for some Lanzarote-type warmth to make its way to Newtownforbes for the 5k race on December 26th! 

New Volunteers

We need several new volunteers to help on Fridays as our numbers are so big. We are organising an Introduction to Run, Jump, Throw training session for anyone who wants to get more involved and the Club also covers the cost for new volunteers to attend the Sports Partnership Safeguarding Child Protection Workshop. NO experience is necessary, you will learn on the job.

All of the Little Athletics parents stay in the Sports Hall for the hour so why not get involved and lend a hand this year?? Don’t be shy! Talk to Sean, Mick or Leslie (outside with the Juvenile group) or send an email into the Club for more details.

Raffle Ticket Sales

The Facilities Task Force has been hard at work all summer liaising with the County Council and politicians to secure a suitable site for our new proposed indoor training facility. They have been following up on every lead so that this can become a reality.

The Club needs to raise €100,000 to be ready to move forward so we are counting on each and every family to do their part helping with ticket sales. Please turn in any completed ticket books that have been sold over the summer and the corresponding money to Mick\Sean on Friday September 6th or 13th so we can get a real picture of how the fundraising is progressing. Hold on to any books that still are unsold and keep at it as the draw is not until January.

Remember there is the option to purchase tickets online so even family and friends in America, England, etc…can buy a ticket and be in with a chance to win the grand prize money!

Nelvin Appiah receives CSAA Outstanding Senior Male Athlete 2018\2019 

Nelvin Appiah, Moyne Community School, has been selected Outstanding Senior Male Athlete for the year 2018\2019 by the Connacht Schools Athletics Association for his thrilling All-Ireland performance in High Jump clearing the bar at 2.10m.

The other highlights of Nelvin’s schools athletics career include setting the new Championship Best Performance at last year’s (2018) All-Ireland Schools finals in Intermediate Boys High Jump at 2.02m. Nelvin has 4 International caps as well competing at both Schools International Championships (SIAB) and the Celtic Games.

Nelvin Appiah, Moyne Community School

Nelvin Appiah, Moyne Community School leaving cert student, has been selected Outstanding Senior Male Athlete for the year 20182019 by the Connacht Schools Athletics Association. He was presented with the Padraig Griffin Perpetual Cup on June 15th by Connacht School Secretary Ms Mary Barrett.

The most memorable achievement was his performance at the International Schools Combined Events in December 2016 finishing 6th place overall in the U16 competition.

Nelvin took the afternoon off from his Leaving Cert studies last Saturday to receive the Padraig Griffin Perpetual Cup as well as compete in the Western Region Provincial Outdoor Championships at Sligo IT. Moyne Vice -Principal and Longford Athletics Club Chairman Paddy McPhillips was there for the presentation from Connacht School Secretary Ms Mary Barrett.

Nelvin’s efforts paid off winning Gold in all three of his events: high jump, 100m and 400m. He is off the Minsk at the end of the week for his first international appearance as a Senior Athlete, a real milestone for Longford AC.

New Equipment for Longford AC Juvenile Members

The new equipment purchased through the Healthy Ireland fund is being used at the juvenile training sessions.

The new equipment purchased through the Healthy Ireland Fund has arrived and is already in use at juvenile training sessions. The agility ladders, hurdles, turbo javelins and relay batons are giving a new dimension to training drills as the juvenile athletes are preparing for the upcoming Connacht Championships. New skills are developing as the action photographs show!

The Club has been involved in a project to promote athletics across the county through the Healthy Ireland Fund. Financial support is gratefully acknowledged from Longford LCDC, Pobal, HealthyIreland and the Department of Health.

Athletics Ireland Juvenile 2018 Star Awards

Athletics Ireland Juvenile 2018 Star Awards 16th February 2019 at the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore

Congratulations to Longford AC athlete Cian McPhillips who was named Athletics Ireland Juvenile 2018 Star for Longford for the 3rd year in a row. The Annual Juvenile Awards banquet was held on 16th February in Tullamore with Irish athlete Kate Veale as guest speaker. This year Cian also received the Juvenile Committee Special Recognition Award for Outstanding Performances in 2018. 2018 was Cian’s most successful year in athletics to date. The highlights of the year included representing Ireland in last summer’s European Youth Championships, breaking the 1974 U18 record set by John Tracey for his own new Irish record in the outdoor 3k at the age of 15, and his 2 CBP (Championship Best Performance) at last year’s National Indoor Championships in both U17 Boys 800m and 1500m events.

U17 National Titles in 2018: 3XGold

National Indoor 800m CBP and National Indoor 1500m CBP, March 2018 at Athlone IT Arena

National Outdoor 1500m, July 2018 at Tullamore

1X4th place National Indoor U17 Relay, April 2018 at Athlone IT Arena

Schools Athletics 2018: 3XGold

Gold Intermediate Boys 1500m All-Ireland Schools Outdoor Championships, 2nd June 2018 at Tullamore

Gold U18 1500m at Tailteann Interprovincial Games, 23rd June 2018 at Santry.

Gold in 1500m at SIAB Outdoor T&F 22 July 2018 at Grangemouth, Scotland

Training at AIT Indoor Track

athlone indoor track

Training is scheduled at the AIT Indoor Arena to give our juvenile athletes the opportunity to gain experience on the track in sprints, middle distance and hurdles. It is the time to learn and practice starting blocks, relay teams and field events (high jump, long jump and shot putt) to prepare for upcoming competitions.

Juvenile athletes need be aware of the following Athletics Ireland rules:

  • Age categories change every year on January 1st and are calculated on the age the athlete will be on the 31st December in the year of competition. No athlete may obtain a birthday in the year of competition and compete Under that age. Athletes are confined to their own age group only.
  • A Club Singlet must be worn by every athlete in competition. The Longford AC singlet can be purchased at cost €25.
  • Only 5mm spikes may be used on the track.
  • When entering any field event athletes must be technically proficient and competent in that event in the interest of safety (ie: high jump).
  • Relay Teams only: an athlete can move up one age group as long as at least 2 members of the competing relay team participating in the event on that day are the correct age. For U17, U18, U19 age groups all athletes on the team may move up one age group.
  • IAAF False Start Rules apply. U16+ first false start leads to disqualification.
  • U12, 13, 14, 15. One false start and all are on warning of next false start leading to disqualification
  • Connacht Indoor Championship: U12-U19 age group. Each athlete may compete in maximum of 3 individual events plus a relay team.
  • All athletes U14+ must use starting blocks.
  • Connacht Outdoor Championship: starts at U9 age group. U9-11s compete with a partner as a pair and are only allowed to enter 2 events (with the same partner for both events or a different partner for each event) plus a relay team. U12-19 individuals may compete in maximum of 3 individual events plus a relay team.
  • U12 must do a crouched start. Below U12 standing or crouch start is optional. All athletes U14+ must use starting blocks.

Connacht Track & Field Squads 2018/19

Athletics Ireland has announced the Connacht T&F Squad for 2018\19. This Development Squad is for selected athletes only in the U14-U19 age groups. Athletes are selected based on their Connacht Indoors, Outdoors and Schools Track and Field performances over the past year.

The top 4 athletes in the Sprints, Hurdles, Middle Distance, Long Distance, Steeple, walks and all field events (Long Jump, High Jump, Triple Jump, Pole Vault, Shot, Discus, Javelin, Hammer) are all selected.

Longford AC Juveniles selected = 16

Girls: Gospel Idahor, Teegan Murphy, Yemi Talabi, Barbie Frias Glagovsky, Kate Hagan, Sarah McPhillips, Yemi Talabi

Boys: Aaron Kelly, Nelvin Appiah, Killian Rawle, Christopher Conaty, Joe Reilly, Brendan Finnan, Davidson Olusanya, Paul Idahor, Auley Thomas

Those selected should register and pay online before the 1st squad day (Nov 11th) using the link below. The cost for all three squad days is €20 which includes a squad t-shirt. Each of the squad days will each contain a different element of coaching.

Date Venue Time
November 11th 2018 Athlone IT 9.30am – 12
December 9th 2018 Athlone IT 9.30am – 12:15
January 6th 2019 Athlone IT 9.30am – 12
April 14th 2019 Athlone IT 10am – 12.30pm

2019 Athletics Ireland Juvenile Age Categories

1. Age categories change every year on January 1st and are calculated on the age the athlete will be on the 31st December in the year of competition.

2. No athlete may obtain a birthday in the year of competition and compete in that age.

  • U9 = Born 2011 /Child will be age 8 years old in 2019
  • U10 = Born 2010 /Child will be age 9 years old in 2019
  • U11 = Born 2009 /Child will be age 10 years old in 2019
  • U12 = Born 2008 /Child will be age 11 years old in 2019
  • U13 = Born 2007 /Child will be age 12 years in 2019
  • U14 = Born 2006 /Child will be age 13 years in 2019
  • U15 = Born 2005 /Child will be age 14 years in 2019
  • U16 = Born 2004 /Child will be age 15 years in 2019
  • U17 = Born 2003 /Child will be age 16 years in 2019
  • U18 = Born 2002 /Child will be age 17 years in 2019
  • U19 = Born 2001 /Child will be age 18 years in 2019
  • Juniors aged 16-19 years old (2003-2000)

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Longford, March 2019

The Club would like to organise a group entry of children for this year’s Longford St. Patrick’s Day Parade. If your child would like to be involved and march with the Longford AC group please give your child’s name and a contact number to Paul Grealy\John Fitzpatrick at Little Athletics so we can send you more details.

If any parent is interested to help co-ordinate or has any ideas for a theme we’d love to hear your input!