Senior News

Secretaries Report to A.G.M. of West Waterford A.C on Thursday 6th December 2018

Secretaries Report to A.G.M. of West Waterford A.C on Thursday 
6th December 2018
This year’s report is slightly changed to reflect the 4 different aspects to our club and each has a separate report.  I would like to thanks Irene and James for their help in putting this end of year report together.
Road Racing and Fundraising
Over the course of the past year West Waterford A.C. has hosted in all approx. 55 events these have included:
A 13 night Forde’s Daybreak Winter League Programme Total No. Runners 2,819
A 5 race Michael Roche Series Total No. Runners    747
A 5 night Mason Mortgages League in Colligan Total No Runners     330
A 6 night Minnie’s League in the Friary College Total No. Runners     231
A 12 race Intersport Elvery’s/ Asics Summer Series Programme Total No. Runners 2,245
A 5 night Garvey’s Autumn League Total No. Runners     158
John Treacy Dungarvan 10 Mile Road Race No of Finishers 2,207
The Eurofins Greenway Half Marathon No of Finishers      596
Our 2 Flagship races and main fundraising events are the John Treacy Dungarvan 10 and The Greenway Half Marathon and between them they helped to provide funding for our athletes competing in Munster, National and International level as they represent our club at these different stages.
We have also facilitated many other races during the year by bringing along the timing clock and taking entries and doing up results etc. Many of these races including the Aglish Fun Run, Kilmac 10k, Eilish Ni hAodh, Piltown 5k and the St. Stephens Day Jolly Jaunt that all raise vital funds for local charities. 
Just some of the statistics that arise from all these events are shown above and a feature of these events seems to be when a change is made there is an increase in numbers to the event e.g. Kilmac race this year changes to a 4 mile route with a new course and has almost 200 runners, a significant increase in this race numbers.
However not all changes result in an increase in numbers and this was evident in the Colligan League this year as we tried the league on a Thursday evening but this did not seem to suit many runners so we will revert to a Wednesday evening for 2019.  
While race participation is always fluctuating one disappointing feature is the decline in the numbers in the Friary Leagues. For so long a great starting point for beginners these seem to have lost their appeal to many of our regular runners for some reason.
Many of the above events had a fundraising element which brought much wanted funds to local/national charities, schools and Community groups.
Some of those involved included 
Simon Community €2,000 Paddy Joe Curran Turkey Trot 2018
Cystic Fibrosis €3,500 Chosen Charity 10 Mile
Dungarvan Lions Club €1,200 Charity Night Winter League
Hospice €5,510 
(€2,005, St Stephens Day and €3,455,Turkey Trot 2018)
St Johns School €2,130 GSK 5 Mile
Others to benefit were: Cardiac First Responders Kilmacthomas, Ballinroad Hall, Ballinameela Community Centre and G.A.A. Club, Touraneena School, Ballyduff Lower Community Hall, Focus Ireland, Altzheimer Association, Brickey Camogie and Brickey/Kilrossanty Ladies Football club and Butlerstown G.A.A. Club.
In April at the Munster Road Championships in Castlelyons we had a strong contingent travelling and medals were won by Maria White, O/45 silver, Joe Gough, O/65 gold, while the men’s masters O/35 team of James Whelan, Pat Fitzgerald, Walter Drohan and Joe Gough took home bronze medals.
We would also like to congratulate Terri Gough who took a gold medal in the National Marathon Championships in Dublin when she won the O/70 in a time of 6.30.50.
Cross Country
Traditionally a club with a strong pedigree of Cross Country runners we have perhaps not been as active on this scene as we would have been in the past.  This is a county wide trend though as more and more emphasis seems to be on road running within this county.  Nevertheless the juvenile club continues to support and develop young athletes who are performing well on a national stage and hopefully this will in time feed through to the senior club.
We go all the way’s back to last December for our first piece of good news when Niall Blackwell had a brilliant performance to take a silver medal at the Munster Junior race in Beauford, Co Kerry.
For the past 25 years we have held a very strong Cross Country Race in the Friary College in October to get the season underway.  We have been supported by the Hughes family who have generously donated the James Hughes perpetual trophy for the winner.  The race also incorporated the Waterford Senior and Junior Championships for 2018.  Micheál Power (West Waterford) took the Junior and Senior race and is at the moment one of the top juniors in the country.  Ray Hahesy won the o/55 while Kate Veale was 3rd senior with Orla O’Connor taking the title.  Micheál Power, Sean Stilwell, Marc Flavin and Shane O’ Riordan took bronze team medals. 
County Novice On Oct 7th St Augustine’s once again hosted the County Novice and gold medals went to Sean Stilwell and Sandra Flynn.  Following Sean home for a silver medal was Daryl Kearns while Marc Flavin took bronze.  These 3 runners took gold club medals while silver club medals went to James Whelan, Shane O’Riordan and Yev Chizhikov.  Nicola Moroney took ladies silver while Diana Chizhikova took bronze and all 3 took county medals.
Munster Novice On Oct 21st in Beauford Sean Stilwell and Shane O’Riordan represented our club and finished 24th and 34th respectively.
County Masters On Oct 14th at the county Masters Daryl Kearns and Marc Flavin battled to the end with Daryl taking gold and silver to Marc while James Whelan took bronze while these 3 runners took gold team medals.  Silver team medals went to Mossie Keogh, Ray Hahesy and Yev Chizhikov while bronze medals were won by David Towey, Martin Tobin and David Mc Nally.
The ladies County Masters title went to Liz Nyhan from Nicola Moroney (silver) and Onra Power (bronze) and all 3 took gold team medals.
Munster Cross Country On 11th Nov Marc Flavin ran in the Munster Seniors in Turnpike, Co Tipperary where he finished 35th in a very competitive field. 
Munster Masters On 18th Nov. we fielded a very strong O/50 men’s team of Joe Salmon, Michael Dunford, Ray Hahesy and Joe Gough and while Joe Gough took an individual gold in the O/65 (his first individual Munster Cross Country medal) all 4 combined to win bronze team and county medals which was a great achievement. 
All Ireland Under 23’s and Juniors In Abbotstown, Dublin on Sunday 25th Nov. Shane O’Riordan claimed 22nd place overall in the under 23 event while in the Junior event we are delighted to report that Micheál Power had a fantastic run to claim 6th position and in doing so secured a place on the Irish team for the European Championships in Tilburg, Netherlands on Sunday Dec. 9th so we wish Micheál the best for that.
Track and Field
This was a very busy season in Track & Field and we begin by congratulating all our medalists and participants during the year and commend them all on their continued successes.
We begin our round up of Track and Field back in December when Kate Veale took part in her first National 20k walk in Raheny and took the silver medal while also in this month Micheal Power was delighted to be awarded a Sports Scholarship to U.C.C. to help with both his studies and his athletic career.
At the Munster Junior Pole Vault competition held in Nenagh in January Patrick Fitzgerald vaulted 3mts to take a gold medal while at the Munster Senior and Masters Indoors Joe Gough had moved to a new age category (o/65) and what a start to a glorious year for Joe as not only did he take gold in the 200mts (setting a new Munster record) he also took gold in the 400mts.  Munster medals were also won by 
Mossie Keogh, O/40, bronze, 800mts, Gregory Fitzgerald O/45 bronze, 60mts and 400mts, Yuri Kanash, Silver, Senior Pole Vault and of course Terri Gough took 4 gold medals O/70, 60m, 200m, 400m and shot.
Joe went on then to break the Irish 400m record at a T & F meet in Abbotstown by all of 4 seconds.
Yuri and Patrick also took part in the Under 23 and Junior Irish Life Indoor Championships in Athlone where they both won bronze medals.
Next race for Kate was the prestigious Millrose Mile in New York City and a fruitful trip it was for Kate as she finished 2nd over the mile distance to a 2 time Olympian, Maria Michta Coffey.  Kate went on from here to retain her Senior Indoor 3,000 mts title and also the University title and she was joined at the National Senior Indoors by Patrick Veale and Niall Blackwell (both 3,000mts) and in the Pole Vault Yuri and Lisa also took part and the list is completed by Rachel Power in the Shot.
Lisa Houlihan meanwhile made a welcome and rewarding trip to the A.A.I. games in Abbotstown when she went home with a gold medal and a vault of 3.05 while Micheal Power and Niall Blackwell competing in the 2nd 3,000mts race finished 5th and 9th respectively.
Joe Gough again took a new National Record in Abbotstown in the 800mts clocking 2.18.99 faster by over 15 seconds!  By the end of February though Joe was once again to create history this time by breaking the World Record on Irish soil when he broke a 24 year old record recording 2.16.65 thus continuing his preparation for the European Masters in Madrid in March.  Joe went on to take 3 gold medals at the National Masters in the 200,400 and 800mts distances while Terri Gough took 2 silver in the 60 and 400mts and gold in the 200 and shot.  Also competing we had Gregory Fitzgerald and Paudie Barron in the O/45 400 and O/40 60 and 200mts respectively.
It was on to the European Masters for Joe then in March and here he once again took gold medals in the 800 and 1,500mts and in doing so set yet another Irish record, this time in the 1,500mts.
At the outdoor University Games in Belfast 3 West Waterford athletes took part and all 3 had successful days when Kate broke the National University record in the 3,000mts clocking 6.22.67 while Yuri (U.L.)won a gold medal in the Pole Vault and Micheál Power (U.C.C.) completed a trio of medals winning a bronze medal in the 10,000mts.
Meanwhile at the County Track & Field at the Regional Sports Centre we had 2 new county Champions in Yev and Diana Chizhikov both over 1,500mts in their respective age categories while Mossie Keogh and Yev finished 1st and 2nd in the senior 800mts and Diana took silver in the 3,000mts.
At the Munster Masters Outdoor Track & Field held in Castleisland another Irish record tumbled for Joe Gough, this time in the 400mts when Joe clocked 1.02.76 and took the gold medal while Michael Tutty took gold in the O/55 Javelin and Harry O’Brien gold in the O/55 800mts.  Mossie Keogh and Diana took gold in the O/40 800mts and O/35 1,500mts respectively.
Following good training races over the spring in Lugano, Polebrady, Lituania and Manchester Kate travelled to the British Race Walking Championships in good form and was delighted with her 5th place finish but more importantly her new p.b. over the 20k distance of 1.42.35.
At the beginning of July at the Outdoor National Junior and Under 23 Championships Patrick Fitzgerald (Junior) and Yuri Kanash (Under 23) took bronze and gold medals respectively.
New records were recorded in July for Joe as he broke the outdoor 800mts record in 2.21.88 in Santry and the outdoor 1,500mts record in Drogheda when he ran the distance in 4.55.10.  At this stage of the year the 400, 800 and 1,500mts records were now in the bag for Joe.  At the National Senior Outdoors T. & F. we had 3 athletes taking home medals including Kate Veale gold in the 5,000mts Walk, Lisa Houlihan bronze in the Pole Vault and Yuri Kanash silver in the Senior Pole Vault.
In August at the National Masters Joe Gough, Gregory Fitzgerald, Paudie Barron and Michael Tutty all competed and once again Joe took gold with a National record in the 800mts in 2.21.50.
In September at the World Outdoor Masters Championships in Malaga Joe Gough competing in the 800 and 1,500 once again didn’t disappoint as 2 gold medals were secured and a European record in the 800mts of 2.16.38 was also attained.  Not content with that Joe also broke the 1,500mts record in 4.49.63 and to put the icing on the cake for what has been a phenomenal year for Joe he was awarded the Irish Master Athlete of the Year at the recent awards function in Dublin.
Finally after a long T & F season on behalf of everyone in the club we would like to wish Kate well in this weekend’s National 20k walk.  She has worked extremely hard over the year in a very lonely discipline at times and we hope her dedication pays off. 
Training and Development
Training and Development has become one of the most important initiatives undertaken by our club in recent years.  Under the guidance of Irene Clarke our club coach and assisted by Jim Fleming and Claire Kennedy they have had a very busy year and listed below are some of their events.  
Let’s RunThis was the first of many programmes rolled out in association with Waterford Sports Partnership and ran in conjunction with Operation Transformation.  To date 370 runners have been helped to achieve their goals.
Run to Improve This programme was for those who had graduated through the Let’s Run group and who wanted to get to the next level i.e. improve their time or increase their distance.
Mum On the Move/Club on the Move 2 more new initiatives aimed at encouraging mothers who, once children have been dropped to school might like to meet up with like-minded people for some exercise.  With the Club on the Move Irene in association with WSP teamed up with Abbeyside/Ballinacourty G.A.A. club to encourage parents/ex-players/committee members and coaches to improve their fitness.  As was the aim of all these groups a 5k race was identified and this became the focus for these participants.  
Guest Speakers/Coaches An Information CBT seminar on Mental Health Strategies for Sports Performance was well attended and was most informative for members.
Joe Gough took a coaching session and gave many of our runners an insight into his race preparation and strategy.
One Mile ChallengeOver the course of the Summer 3 One Mile Challenge Nights were held to improve times over this shorter distance with an average of 50 runners each night.  Dzintars Klava (4.50) and Kate Veale (5.32) were the fastest male and female this year.
Greenway Run Our second annual Greenway Run was held this year with varying distances towards Carriganore in preparation for the Eurofins Greenway Half Marathon.  This was a very enjoyable run finished with refreshments in Carriganore.
Half Marathon/Marathon/J.Treacy Training After Summer Series training is complete training plans were put in place for specific Half Marathon/Marthon training while this year Galway, Munich and Dublin were the main venues chosen. When there are over training switches back to John Treacy mode and so it begins again!  This year to compliment training over the winter Irene has organised a very successful Strength & Conditioning class which is runner specific and has been very popular with approx. 30 participants each night.
Benefits of Training and Development:
1. A large Increase in Club Membership. From 234 in 2014 to over 300 in last 3 years.
2. A progression route is now visible for all: from walking/to jogging/to 5k/to 5 miles/to 10 miles/half marathon/marathon should you want it.
3. Increased participation in local races from locals which means we are not relying on other clubs to boost our numbers.
4. Recognition from Athletics Ireland that we are on the right track as regards developing/supporting our members when we were chosen as Development club of the Year.  Out of 320 clubs, to be chosen for this award is a testament to all the hard work by Irene and her team and all involved in coaching at adult and underage level within the club.
I would like to conclude my report by thanking as always my fellow officers for their help and support over the year and in particular to Karen who is stepping away this year as assistant secretary (hopefully to return in the future) and also Ray who is of course invaluable to us all.  Thanks as always to our outdoor staff of Conor, Jamie and John without whom we just could not hold our races.  Thanks to our loyal band of stewards and sponsors who have supported us over many years, we are extremely grateful and of course to St Augustine’s College for the ongoing use of their facilities and finally I would like to wish the incoming committee well in the year ahead and wish everyone a peaceful and happy Christmas and an injury free 2019.
Ann Dunford
Secretary West Watererford A.C.