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Chapeau Cian: We were all so immensely proud watching Cian McPhillips represent Longford and Ireland with such distinction at the European Indoor Championships last weekend. He looked right at home taking on some of the continent’s top middle-distance runners many of whom are full-time athletes. Friday’s heat was a brilliantly executed run to qualify in second place. The semi-final on Saturday was a step up in standard but Cian ran with such composure despite the leaders’ frantic early pace to move up two places and finish in 4th. His time of 1:48.06 set a new official European Junior 800m record in a fully ratified event where all protocols were in place. A great end to a short but sweet indoor season.

Very well done to Cian for performing so impressively, both on the track and with media, and to coach Joe Ryan for having him so well prepared. Congratulations to Cian’s proud family from us all at Longford AC. Parents Laura and Paddy give so much to support Cian’s athletics commitments such as with travel to training and races. Cian’s sister Sarah is one of our leading juvenile athletes having enjoyed much success in the sprints and jumps events. Paddy has been instrumental in developing our club over many years and has done so much work promoting athletics in the county. It was great to see our sport gain so much coverage and interest with the fine displays by Cian and his Irish teammates.

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC)

Cian McPhillips and training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) at the Arena Torun in Poland last week ahead of their 800m heats at the European Indoor Championships. Coach Joe Ryan had the duo so well prepared for what was their first senior international.

He can now enjoy a well-earned rest before training resumes ahead of the start of the outdoor season. We look forward to what that brings. The highlight no doubt will be July’s European Junior Championships in Estonia where Cian will aim for glory in the 1500m. He will be hard stopped!

Texans Triumph: Well done to Nelvin Appiah and his South Plains College teammates who on Saturday were crowned best men’s team at the National Junior Colleges Indoor Championship in Kansas. The SPC Texans team were convincing winners and Nelvin certainly played his part. He had a busy couple of days competing in the heptathlon on Friday and Saturday and in the individual high jump event.

Nelvin finished in 6th place (out of 19) in the 7-event heptathlon with a score of 4471 points. Highlights were his first-place finishes in the 60m, 60m hurdles and 1000m which was the last event. His time of 2:46 in the latter is very impressive especially given the energy-sapping nature of the multi-events. The heptathlon also included the long jump, high jump, shot put and pole vault.

Nelvin competing in Kansas

Nelvin Appiah crossing the finish line in first place in the 1000m event as part of the heptathlon in the NJCAA Indoor Championships in Kansas last Saturday.

He narrowly missed out on a medal in the high jump on Saturday when he placed 4th with a best jump of 2.00m. This did however contribute valuable points to the total SPC team score. It was overall a very good debut championship for Nelvin in the Texans singlet. The team can now look forward to the outdoor season of competition which starts in April.

Fundraising Appeal: Many thanks to all who have so far purchased a bond to help us finance the costs of developing our proposed indoor facility. Over €120k of the €200k target has been raised in just the past five weeks. We need your continued support to make our project happen which we hope to begin the construction of in April. This facility will have the potential for even further development in the future and could become a leading athletics venue. A place where the people of Longford can watch our own athletic stars like Cian and Nelvin perform and where the stars of tomorrow can train and develop.

We are still a little short of where we need to be and are asking anybody with an interest in athletics and sport in Longford to consider buying one of our €2,000 bonds. These will be repaid over 10 years and bondholders will also be entered in a quarterly prize draw. Bonds will be secure and repaid in full. Please help us if you can. Bond enquiries and requests to purchase can be emailed to
Our fundraising efforts are not limited to the bond initiative as we welcome all financial support to help us deliver our planned facility. A donation to the club or sponsorship are also most welcome. If you can help us, please contact John Fitzpatrick (087 2334600), Donal Mulligan (089 2346530) or Sean Crossan (087 2639825).

Virtual Ireland Run: Our Virtual Ireland Run takes place during the week of St. Patricks Day (March 15 – 21). Virtual distance options are 5k, 10k and half marathon for adults and a 3k for children. Register on with the choice of purchasing a t-shirt and medal available also. Having complete your run/jog/walk, please submit your time on the MyRunResults website as per the instructions in the registration email.
Membership: Club membership is open and registration renewals have been emailed out to last year’s members. Interested new members can register at

Fees are €25 for juveniles and €30 for seniors. For more information, please email It is hoped to resume club training immediately once the current restrictions are lifted.