A GROUP of athletes and coaches from Cork flew to England today to represent Leeside at a major international sporting event.
The International Children’s Games are sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and take place in Coventry from August 11-16 and Cork City Council has entered football, basketball, rock climbing and table tennis teams.
There are more than 1,500 teenagers descending on the city for the sports action party, representing 32 countries from 80 towns and cities, including Cork and Tralee.
The competitions are taking place at venues that have hosted the Commonwealth Games in recent weeks and this is the 54th International Children’s Games, which were first held in 1968.
Teams are allowed a maximum of 17 athletes and Cork City Council, which is twinned with Coventry City and participates in ongoing projects together, took part for the first time this year.
The basketball team that will play in the 3×3 format includes Neptune duo Justin Raheem and Dylan O’Rourke, Tadhg Murphy of Ballincollig and Daniel Burke of Blue Demons.
Paul O’Brien (Neptune) will travel as coach.
The climbing group is coached by Finbarr Desmond and includes Sean Henchion, Tara Henchion, Ailbhe Desmond and Jack Murray
The football squad for the six-man competition will be coached by Barbara O’Connell with Keelyn Hegarty, Lucy O’Sullivan, Roisin McGonigle Walsh, Andrea Toye, Aoibhe Linehan, Lola Curham, Aine Crowe and Holly Fitzpatrick involved.
Table tennis coach Philip Shaw and players Megan O’Brien and Alex Healy are also in England in the coming days.
Laura Coady, Cork City Council’s Head of Sports Development, and Emmett O’Callaghan, Deputy Head of Sports Development, will support the athletes and coaches at the event, which is fully funded by the council.
James Kirby, Cork Sports Partnership, was also present at the launch this week.
Coventry also hosted the games in 2005, which saw 1,250 athletes compete in 53 cities and 33 countries.
Unfortunately, the 2020 Games were canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making this year’s Games the 54th to take place.
For the past 10 years, cities such as Windsor Lake Macquarie and Jerusalem have hosted the event.
There really is an international flavor to the tournament with teams hailing from all over the world including Dresden, Sydney, Sparta, Bangkok, Nairobi, Montreux and more.
Swimming, tennis and athletics are the other sports that will be in the spotlight in Coventry in the coming days.