A YOUNG Kildimo sports enthusiast has been given a royal send-off by his peers as he heads off to join his dad in Australia.
Mark Curran, 11, was named Player of the Year by his GAA club, Kildimo/Pallaskenry on Monday just hours before he, his mother Carol, sister Emma and twin brothers James and John headed off to Perth where his father, Sean, a civil engineer, has been working since last September.
“I feel a little bit sad because I am leaving all my friends,” Mark told the Limerick Leader. But he acknowledged that it felt good to have had such a good send-off.
Mark is a very dedicated young sportsman. He has played hurling and football with Kildimo/ Pallaskenry GAA and has also played soccer with Kilcornan AFC. In addition, he has played rugby with Copsewood Gaels and has also been involved with Community Games.
And he has represented his county in soccer and in football.
But that part of Mark’s life has now come to an end as the family heads off to be re-united with dad Sean almost a year after he had to emigrate to find work.
However, Mark’s young sports friends were determined he would not go without some kind of recognition.
His soccer pals marked his leave-taking with a picture of the team and a special plate while his rugby friends gave him a jersey signed by all the team. And on Monday, he was named as young hurling Player of the Year. “I think it was because I worked hard at training and in the matches,” the young half-back said.
And he is already planning to be active in his new life in Perth and admits he is excited about the move, even though it comes with a certain sadness.
“It will be nice to be a family again,” his mum Carol said about the move to the other side of the world.
In addition to his dad, Mark will have two uncles to discuss sport with in Australia. Sean’s two brothers, Eamon and Tony have also moved to Western Australia.
And Mark’s own sporting ambition is to continue playing soccer and, some day, hopefully, to wear the green jersey for Ireland.