Mayo Community Games started planning in February 2023 and now the curtain has come down on a very successful year. For the past 8 months areas have prepared for competition at local ,County ,Provincial and National level .
Success is not guaranteed but it's about participation and representing your area at every opportunity possible for every child who wants to take part in an individual or team event.
The events are there for everyone to see from Cultural to sporting and there are over 50 events to choose from. The last competition of the season for the Mayo Community Games participants was held at the Visual Centre, St Leo's College and St Patricks College Co. Carlow . This was a weekend which involved our Arts and Cultural children and they were magnificent over the two day event.
The projects competitions are a great way to involve school going children and this was the option chosen when Carra Community Games set up a team for their under -11 project . It was based on famous people and they picked Michael D Higgins, the President of Ireland . This project took time and was well prepared and researched by the team . They wrote to the president and received a letter in response. When the judges finished their interviews they awarded the Carra project team the bronze medals and commended them on their work. It was a wonderful occasion to see Conor and Daisy Hardcastle and Aiden and Emma Kilboyle on the podium receiving their hard earned national medals.
We have the most wonderful county that is full of culture and our participants are involved in solo music, group music, recitation, dance, drama, comedy and choir singing. The Burrishoole under -16 mixed group singing team performed at the highest level in the George Bernard Shaw Theatre to a packed audience and they sang their hearts out to convince the adjudicators that they deserved the bronze medals which they received with great celebrations. This team of girls worked hard over the summer holidays to achieve this award and we say congratulations to Cari Brady, Shauna Conway, Muireann Curran, Alannagh Geragthy, Ella McDonnell and Victoria Palamarchuk.
The next Mayo competitor on the podium was Anna Clarke from Turlough Towers who participated in the girls under - 12 solo music and she received a bronze medal for a truly brilliant performance to a packed theatre in Carlow. Let's not be in any doubt about the high quality and the standard of this national community games event which was a packed out event with participants travelling from all over the country to showcase their incredible talents.
In the art competition Mayo had lots of talented artists involved and Jacob Alngohuro from the famous village of Cong secured a bronze medal in the boys under -12 category.
This young man is certainly one to watch into the future as his paintings are something special. His prize winning art work was completed in 3 hours and there were great celebrations when news of his success filtered through, as his family joined him on a memorable day for Jacob. It's great to see new areas featured and this was the case when Oilibhia Staunton from Partry / Tourmakeady won a fourth placed medal in the girls under - 10 art competition. This area registered this year after being away from the games for a few years. The success that Oilibhia Staunton has achieved will certainly encourage others to get involved and take part into the future.
Mayo community games had lots of participants in action who gave their utmost best but did not reach the winners podium on this occasion, but they enjoyed the events and have gained valuable experience by competing at the highest level in the land.
Turlough Towers performed very well in the group music under - 16 and well done to Stephen Conor, Padraig Grealis, Conor Doherty, Cian Lawless and Peterina Grealis. In the solo singing under -16 Peterina Grealis from Turlogh Towers performed with great distinction in the theatre. Another Turlough Towers competitor who did really well was Hannah Kelly in the solo singing under -12. Grace Davoren King from Claremorris was our representative in the under -16 solo dance routine.
Bohola community games were one of the first areas to get involved in community games 50 years ago and they continue to appear in most competitions to this day. In Carlow they represented the county in the under -14 quiz and performed very well to finish in the top 8 position in the country. The questions were tough at times and certainly did not suit everybody at times. Let's say well done to Rory Byrne, Archie Ivers, Dara McNicholas, Orlaith Redmond, Daniel Rice and Tadhg Treanor who have a great knowledge of questions at such a young age. Our gymnasts always perform to the highest level and they certainly gave their best in St. Leos College in Carlow when Eloise McDonnell from Kilmovee, Aoife Sheridan Turlough Towers and Freya Gibbons from Carra performed to a packed audience. Turlough Towers community games had 3 sisters competing at art and model making in Carlow. The Devaney sisters Aoibheann, Juliette and Niamh proudly represented their area and Mayo at the national finals.
Handwriting of letters has nearly disappeared because of the predicted text on mobile phones so it's great to see hundreds of young children taking up the pencil and paper to show their talents. In Mayo we have the best of handwriters in Eloise McDonnell from Kilmovee, Patrick Sherrin from Kilmaine, Emma Kilboyle and Ella Finnerty from Carra, Gavin Ryan and Daniel Higgins from Shrule/ Glencorrib/ Kilroe who all produced lovely scripts in exactly one hour. Model making is such a thing of beauty when completed. The amount of time, patience and expertise is remarkable and this was the case when Lucia McDonnell from Kilmovee, Darcy Femandes from Burrishoole, Aiden Kilboyle from Carra, Niamh and Aoibheann Devaney from Turlough Towers had finished their work after 3 hours.
Mayo had 16 young artists at the finals in Carlow from under - 8 up to under -16 years and each one of them completed a masterclass of art from crayons to watercolours etc. From the village of Cong we had Oscar Gibbons and Madeline Lynskey who did some lovely art work. Emma Kilboyle from Carra finished her painting to a very high standard. Holly Cawley and Dylan Doherty from Kilmurray in North Mayo finished off two lovely pieces of artwork. Alfie Quinn and Niall Kelly from Turlough Towers were both quite satisfied with their art work on the day. Other great paintings were completed by Rian McDermott from Ballinrobe, Kate Noone from Kilfian, Emma Gibbons from Partry / Tourmakeady, Jemma Farrell from Burrishoole, Orlaith Redmond from Bohola and Hadley Jack Burns from Kilmovee. A lot of work and time has gone into preparing our participants for the national finals of community games. We say thanks to their teachers, family members, coaches, managers, parents, grandparents, guardians and to the volunteers in the area who have given their time and expertise to keep developing the talent we have in our county.
Mayo Community Games would like to congratulate Geraldine Joyce from Claremorris Community Games who recently received a national volunteer award for her work with community games. This award is richly deserved to a woman who has been there for the children of her area for years.
As we come to the final quarter of the 2023 year in community games all that is left is for the areas to organise and hold their AGM and for the Mayo community games AGM to take place. Now is the opportunity for areas to trash out local boundaries which may be in dispute or are not affiliated to any area. Don't leave it until it's too late, do it now and sit around the table and get the maps out. By doing so you are giving a child or a team the chance to participate in an area. Garda vetting is important for 2024 and now is the time to start preparing. It's vital that areas get their AGM over before this year finishes as we need to start competitions in Mayo a lot earlier in 2024.
It has been a great year for all the children who have taken part in the cultural and sporting sections of community games in Mayo. Congratulations to everybody who enjoyed success in the games and remember it's not all about winning. By taking part you are a winner also. Thanks to all our wonderful officers, officials and volunteers who run and organise community games at local level.