Pallasgreen GAA's All-Ireland U-21 winners Colin Ryan and Daragh Fanning, Limerick footballer Brian Fanning and Mary Cosgrave at the launch of Limerick’s fittest sports star Picture: Mike O’Riordan
THE ALL-IRELAND Championships will be well over but an array of GAA stars will be togging out in Limerick in October.
Limerick’s Fittest Superstars, a new fundraiser to help build a playground in Pallasgreen, was launched in the local community centre recently. Ger O’Connell, organiser, said the concept was based on the hit RTE show Ireland's Fittest Family.
There will be ten teams including a number of celebrities – former Kerry footballer and Dancing with the Stars winner Aidan O’Mahony; Anna Geary, Cork camogie player and Ireland’s Fittest Family Coach; Joe O’Connor, Limerick senior hurling coach; Galway and Limerick camogie players Aislinn Connolly and Sarah Carey and Operation Transformation’s Marie Grace. Pallasgreen’s own All-Ireland winning U-21 stars – Daragh Fanning and Colin Ryan – are lending their support. Davy Fitzgerald will be shouting encouragement at the event in the South Court Hotel on Saturday, October 14.
It is sponsored by O’Dwyer Oil, Old Pallas and a number of local businesses are putting their strength to the test.
“The battle lines have been drawn and the teams ready for the challenge are Cappamore Fire Brigade, Pallas United AFC, Knockane GAA, D’unbelievables – a team from the bistro, pharmacy and Centra in Caherconlish - Pallasgreen GAA, St Ailbes Ladies Football Club, Pierse Motors 1 and 2, and A/S Fitness.
“There will be five challenges in total. Some of these are similar to those on Ireland's Fittest Family like hanging tough, eight foot wall, balance beams and sand bag challenge,” said Ger.
The whole purpose is to give the next generations of local sporting heroes – like Daragh and Colin – the best possible start in their athletic lives.
“Our playground will help children develop physical co-ordination, strength and flexibility, as well as providing recreation and enjoyment,” said Ger. It also fosters community spirit as parents can chat while their children play. The playground will be located close to the statue of Paddy Ryan, Olympic gold medal winner.
At the launch in Pallasgreen Community Centre, attendees had a taste of the physical exertions the teams will put themselves through during the night.
“A member of each team got the chance to take the hanging tough challenge. A St Ailbes ladies football club member hung for the longest time and put out a message - they mean business for the big event.
“But as the audience were asked to have a go, enter 10-year-old Malachy McKenna, from Lough, who stole the show with his over two minutes on the challenge. Also on the night, the five national Community Games medal winners were special guests - Malachy McKenna, Lee Kirsch, Leon Horan, Jimmy Stokes and Patrick Bailey,” said Ger. Tickets are selling fast – contact 086 2148675, 086 8147485, 087 7697811 to purchase, or they are available in Regan’s Centra.
See page 17 of Leader 2 for more