Limerick's World U20 Championship 4x100m relay silver medalist Ciara Neville with Elliot O'Connoll, age 7, from Raheen, at the launch of the Aldi National Community Games finals at UL
MORE than 4,000 budding sports stars be welcomed to the University of Limerick Sports Campus for the second Aldi Community Games National Festival of 2018 which takes place this Saturday and Sunday.
Three of Ireland’s women's U-20 100m relay team, who recently stormed to a silver medal at the World U-20 Championships, including Limerick's own Ciara Neville, burst out of the starting blocks at the UL Sports Campus earlier this week to launch this weekend's Aldi Community Games National Festival.
Sprint heroes Ciara Neville, from Monaleen, a member of Emerald AC, Gina Akpe-Moses and Patience Jumbo-Gula are all Aldi Community Games former participants.
The Aldi Community Games August National Festival is the final event in a successful second year of Aldi’s three-year sponsorship of Community Games, which aims to introduce young people to a love of sport and culture and encourage healthy, active lifestyles.
This year Aldi Community Games saw more than 160,000 children across 575 communities take part in hundreds of scheduled regional events.
The August National Festival will bring together county and provincial champions from across Ireland in a wide range of sporting and cultural activities, individual and team events.
Assisting the children will be over 200 volunteers, who will oversee activities.
Over the past 50 years, more than 5 million Irish children have participated in Community Games, including many of Ireland’s celebrities, sporting heroes and world-famous actors. Some of the names represented in the Community Games alumni include Paul O’Connell, Sonia O’Sullivan, Saoirse Ronan, Olive Loughnane, Bressie, Colin Farrell and Niall Quinn.
Commenting on the 2018 Aldi Community Games National Festival: John Byrne, CEO of Aldi Community Games commented: “We held our first Festival in the University of Limerick in May of this year and it was a resounding success.
“More than 3,400 children took part in over 30 different events from swimming to handwriting.
“We are expecting even more children in August and we are grateful to the thousands of volunteers, our title sponsor Aldi, all our other sponsors and funders and UL for supporting us all the way.
“Aldi Community Games continues to provide the children of Ireland with a healthy alternative to the pressures of a sedentary tech-led lifestyle.
“We were delighted at the recent success of the Irish women’s 4 x 100m relay team who stormed to a silver medal at the U20s IAAF World Championships. All four are Aldi Community Games former participants.”
Finbar McCarthy, Group Buying Director, Aldi Ireland, said: “Aldi is proud to be supporting the Community Games and we are excited to support the organisers to ensure more children and communities have the opportunity and the encouragement to participate.
“We have also made an equally strong commitment to promoting active, healthy lifestyles for Ireland’s next generation, and teaming up with Community Games is built on that vision. The first year of our partnership with Community Games was a huge success.
“We had over 3,400 children take part in the May finals to kick off year two of the partnership and I have no doubt the finals this month will also exceed our expectations.
“I would like to wish all the children and volunteers participating in the August National Festivals the very best of luck.”