Manning Track and Field May 14

Manning Track and Field

May 2014

Loughrea Athletic Club hosted another fantastic Manning Track & Field event and once again records were broken on the day.


For the 7th year in a row the number of schools and children taking part in the Manning T & F event increased. In 2008 the inaugural event hosted 350 children from 7 local primary schools. But on Wednesday 14th May 2014over 500 children representing 14 schools took part in the annual Track & Field athletic event generously sponsored by the family of John & Annie Manning formally of Barrack Street, Loughrea.


WoodfordNSand KilchreestNS were the new comers to the Track & Field event this year, although WoodfordNShad participated in the Manning cross country event last September.


The rain that threatened to fall all day never actually arrived and this was a relief to the organisers as the viewing stand and new clubhouse were stretched to capacity to cater for the large crowd of supporters for the young athletes taking part.


Enormous credit must go to the dedicated grounds staff under the leadership of Colm Moorehead and Martin Collins who watched the weather forecast for days in advance and then laboured hard from 9amon the morning of the event to cut grass and line 12 lanes of track around the soccer pitch. And it must be said that they had the facilities in immaculate condition for when the crowds started to arrive around 5pmwhen Colm and Martin were to be found in Bushfield directing traffic around the car park to ensure that all 350 cars were carefully parked thus ensuring the safety of all people present.


From once the whistle blew to start the first event, it was all hands on deck from the junior coaches of Loughrea Athletic Club and their band of many volunteers who were only too willing to put their expertise into practice and take control of the running of all of the events from hurdles, ball throw, long jump, sprints, and relays and ensured that the event ran as smoothly and efficiently as any professional event.


Each and every child who took part contributed points towards their schools final total depending on their finishing position. Although taking part and experiencing athletics is the main aim of the event, the children who waited to hear the final scores cheered with strong voice when it was announced that the girl’s trophy was won by New Inn NS for the second time in a row (and only their second time participating in the event) and that the boys trophy was won by Bullaun NS for the 4th time in a row.


And so, as the sun faded, the new clubhouse was locked up and the crowds left Bushfield after having witnessed another fabulous display of athletics made possible by the continued sponsorship of the family of John and Annie Manning.


Loughrea Athletic Club are forever grateful to the teachers of the schools who embrace this event so willingly and put enormous effort into the preparation of the children. Plans are already underfoot to restructure the event so that more children can partake in next years event (as demand to participate in the event in its present format has outgrown it capacity).


Finally, Loughrea Athletic Club would like to thank the Manning family for their continued support of the youth of the Loughrea area through their continued sponsorship of this event.