Tralee Athletes Coventry-Bound For International Children’s Games

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The Kerry International Children’s Games team with Michael Culloty. Photo by Dermot Crean

KERRY will have an International Children’s Games team heading abroad this year as the competition returns after a three year break.

The Games scheduled for Kecskemet, Hungary in 2020 and Daegu, South Korea in 2021 were both cancelled amid the ongoing pandemic.

August of this year however will see the welcome return of this global multi sport event in Coventry, England and once again a team of athletes from Tralee and Kerry will be selected to participate at the event.

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Coventry holds special significance for the Tralee ICG committee, according to Chairman Mike Culloty: “In 2005 Tralee received an invitation from the then Mayor of Coventry, Mr John Mutton, to participate at the Games which were being hosted in Coventry for the very first time.

“The Mayor was especially keen to have a team from Ireland at the Games given the long standing association between the City and the many Irish emigrants who had made the city their home after the war years. We duly accepted the invitation and I am glad to say, with the help of local support and sponsorship, Coventry 2022 will mark our 15th year of continuous participation”.

A total of 80 towns and cities, representing 32 countries, will be present at the University of Warwick from August 11-16.

Teams are allowed a maximum of 17 athletes this year and Tralee will be represented in Swimming, Basketball and Track and Field competition.

Zala O’Connor, Rachel Barry, Laurel Mason and Lily Mai O’Gara of the swimming team in the Kerry International Children’s Games team. Photo by Dermot Crean

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The swimming team is comprised of athletes from the Kingdom Swimming Club, namely Lily-Mai O’Gara, Rachel Barry, Laurel Mason and Zala O’Connor, and they will compete in individual and relay events.

The 3 v 3 basketball competition features two teams of four in boys and girls competition. The girls selected are Lucy O’Connor and Kelly Fitzgerald from the Imperials club and Jill Quirke and Anna Collins from Ballymac Bobcats.

Braydon Pierse, Johnny Dawson, Anna Collins, Kelly Fitzgerald, Lucy O’Connor and Jill Quirke of the Kerry International Children’s Games basketball team. Photo by Dermot Crean

The boys’ team is comprised of Gearoid White and Brayden Pierse from St Brendan’s and Fionan Ryan and Johnny Dawson from Tralee Imperials.

Track and Field will see three girls prominent at Listowel AC compete in the 100m, 400m and 800m events: Saoirse Dillon, Emma Neylon and Mollie O’Riordan. David Lane will compete in the 100m and 400m, while Kieran Keane will compete in the Shot Put competition.

Kieran Keane, Emma Neylon, Mollie O’Riordan, Saoirse Dillon and David Lane of the track and field team in the Kerry International Children’s Games team. Photo by Dermot Crean

Tralee will be joined by another Irish team at this year’s Game. Cork City Council, who are twinned with Coventry City and participate in ongoing projects together, has accepted an invitation to attend.

“It’s truly great to back and putting the team together again for the Games”, said Mike Culloty. “There is excitement in the air for these young athletes and the chance to compete at International level against their peers will bring out the very best in them I am sure. As always we are thankful to the Kerry Municipal District whom we represent and for the support of parents, local businesses and ordinary citizens, without which the venture would not be possible”.

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