Kick-off for Limerick’s Southside City Summer Fest

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

Sunderland AFC coach Michael Havelock shows Limerick youngsters some ball skills at the Carew Park FC  soccer camp. Picture: Michael Cowhey
A UNIQUE summer festival for the southside of the city got under way this Monday.

A UNIQUE summer festival for the southside of the city got under way this Monday.

Coaches from English Premier League side Sunderland AFC were at Carew Park FC training potential stars of the future from Limerick, as part of a five-day boot camp.

More than 329 youngsters from the southside queued outside the club’s gates for a chance to train with professional coaches from the English side.

And this weekend, former World champion Ricky Hatton will be in town as the main events of the Southside City Summer Fest take place.

The brainchild of Southill man Mark Heffernan, the main events will include a charity soccer match on Saturday between members of An Garda Siochana and Limerick City’s ‘best’ players drawn from junior sides across the city.

Earlier that day, a community sports and fun day will take place at Tait House on Roxboro Road, featuring tag rugby, a bake sale, face painting, music, racing and much more.

If sport is not your thing, another family fun festival will take place the following day in Carew Park.

It will feature performances from Paddy Casey, Youtube sensation Fresh RE, plus more fun and entertainment with stalls and barbecues.

On Friday, August 21, Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton will arrive and will spend the weekend on the southside.

The former light welterweight and welterweight champion of the world will sign autographs, and provide help and advice to up-and-coming boxers from across Limerick.

The link with the Manchester boxing star came about because Mark’s firm MJH Services sponsors two young boxers, Anthony and Paudie Upton. The designated charity for the festival is Childline.

Mark said it was preferred to sponsor a national charity so as not to let any local groups down.

“The overall charity had to be Childline, as the festival is so youth orientated. We did not want to pick a local charity and leave another one out, which is why we picked a national charity, “ he explained.

Although all the events throughout the Southside City SummerFest are free, tickets are required.

For more information, telephone 061-319000.