PHOTOS: Tralee Team Russia-Bound For International Children’s Games

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The Tralee International Children’s Games team with soccer coach Robin O’Day, athletics coach Dearbhail Foley, Chairman of Tralee ICG committee Mike Culloty and Anthony Palmer of the Tralee ICG committee. Photo by Dermot Crean

AFTER an absence of one year from the International Children’s Games and Cultural Festival, Tralee will again be represented at the Games in 2019 in Ufa, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia.

Ufa becomes the first city in the International Children’s Games to host both the Summer and Winter ICG Games and Tralee will participate at the Games for the 14th year since 2005 at Coventry.

Chairman of Tralee ICG, Mike Culloty explained that the decision not to go to the Jerusalem Games was due essentially to health and safety reasons.

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“At the time it was likely that there would be security issues surrounding the Games due to some impending political decisions, most notably the moving of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. We took a decision then not to take the children on the basis of those safety concerns.”

The decision to reignite Tralee’s representation at the Games was taken by the ICG committee in December.

“Inevitably the predominant feeling was that we should continue to provide the opportunity for young people in Tralee and Kerry to experience competition and sport at this level among their peers from all over the world, and that it would be a mistake not to make the effort to make it happen,” said Mike.

The soccer team. Front from left; Kalvin O’Sullivan, Odhran Ferris and Ray McGrath. Back from left; Alex Hoare, Cormac Dillon, Yago Cornide, Alex Hennigan and Richard Healy. Photo by Dermot Crean


The team selected for Russia, representing Tralee in Judo, Athletics and Soccer, is now finalised and it’s all systems go from here to July as they set out to make the necessary arrangements for travel, accommodation, fund raising and team preparation.

“The children are all very excited at the prospect of travelling to the Games in Russia and meeting and competing against athletes from places they have never even heard of!”

Mike is quick to point to the level of support in the local community as a key element in making these dreams come true for the children in their chosen sports: “Our participation would not be possible in terms of raising the necessary finance to travel without the support of the local community and local business. We are most grateful for this support and it is appreciated greatly by Tralee ICG and the athletes”.

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Tralee ICG received a significant boost during the week with the approval of €1,000 from the Tralee Municipal District Community Support Fund.

Athletics team Bobby Byrne, Tralee, Aine O’Shea, Firies, Melissa Ahern, Aghadoe, and Coren Hughes, Tralee. Photo by Dermot Crean

“Technically we represent Tralee Municipal District at the Games, which are organised on a Council to Council basis and agreement. Ninety City and Town Councils are represented at the Games, who between them send up to 1500 children to the event. We are proud to be the only Irish representatives at the Games and appreciate Tralee MD’s support for our community based project”, Mike explained.

The team, together with parents and coaches, held their first meeting on Friday night at the Education Centre, Tralee, where details of travel arrangements, registration requirements and plans for the next four months were made known to all present.

The judo team Donna Rodgers, Tralee, Stephen Palmer, Firies and Kristin Lyne, Ardfert. Missing is Jack Costello, Firies. Photo by Dermot Crean

The Tralee teams are as follows:

Judo Team: Jack Costello, Firies: Stephen Palmer, Firies: Kristin Lyne, Ardfert:  Donna Rodgers, Tralee. Coach: Danny Roche

Track and Field Team: Girls: 100m: Melissa Ahern, Aghadoe: Shot Put: Aine o Shea, Firies. Boys: 1500m Coren Hughes, Tralee: Long Jump: Bobby Byrne, Tralee. Coach: Dearbhail Foley

Soccer Team: Richard Healy, Park FC: Ray Mc Grath, Park FC: Odhran Ferris, Park FC:  Yago Cornide, Inter Kenmare: Alex Hennigan, Killarney Athletic: Alex Hoare, Tralee Dynamos, Cormac Dillon, Listowel FC: Kalvin O Sullivan, Killarney Celtic. Coach: Robin O Day; Asst Coach John Byrne

The Tralee International Children’s Games committee. Front from left; Siobhan Murphy, Caroline McGrath, Mike Culloty and Dearbhail Foley. Back from left; Anthony Palmer, Robin O’Day, Micheál Herlihy, Paula Henry and John Byrne. Photo by Dermot Crean

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