Cork athletes compete in four events at International Games in England

Cork City Council has funded teams in soccer, basketball, table tennis and climbing to take part in the prestigious tournament in Coventry
Cork athletes compete in four events at International Games in England

The combined participants and their coaches at Cork City Hall before their trip to England. Picture: Brian Lougheed

A GROUP of Cork athletes and coaches flew out to England today to represent Leeside at a major international sporting event.

The International Children’s Games is sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee and being staged in Coventry from August 11-16 and the Cork City Council entered teams in soccer, basketball, climbing and table tennis.

There are over 1,500 teenagers descending on the city for the feast of sporting action, representing 32 countries from 80 towns and cities, including Cork and Tralee.

The competitions are being staged in venues that hosted the Commonwealth Games in recent weeks and this is the 54th International Children’s Games, having been first held in 1968.

Teams are allowed a maximum of 17 athletes and Cork City Council, who are twinned with Coventry City and participate in ongoing projects together, have entered for the first time this year.

The players and their families before heading to Coventry. Picture: Brian Lougheed
The players and their families before heading to Coventry. Picture: Brian Lougheed

The basketball team that will play in the 3x3 format features Neptune duo Justin Raheem and Dylan O’Rourke, Ballincollig’s Tadhg Murphy and Blue Demons’ Daniel Burke.

Paul O’Brien (Neptune) will travel as coach.

The climbing group is coached by Finbarr Desmond and includes Sean Henchion, Tara Henchion, Ailbhe Desmond and Jack Murray

The soccer squad for the six-a-side competition will be coached by Barbara O’Connell with Keelyn Hegarty, Lucy O’Sullivan, Roisin McGonigle Walsh, Andrea Toye, Aoibhe Linehan, Lola Curham, Aine Crowe and Holly Fitzpatrick involved.

Table tennis coach Philip Shaw and players Megan O’Brien and Alex Healy are also in England over the coming days.

Cork City Council’s sports development officer Laura Coady and assistant sports development officer Emmett O’Callaghan will support the athletes and coaches at the event, which is being fully funded by the council.

James Kirby, Cork Sports Partnership, was also at the launch this week.

Coventry hosted the games in 2005 as well which saw 1,250 athletes compete from 53 cities and 33 countries.

Unfortunately, the 2020 Games were cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, making this year’s Games the 54th to take place.

In the past 10 years, cities such as Windsor Lake Macquarie and Jerusalem have hosted the event.

There really is an international flavour to the tournament with teams drawn from every corner of the world, including Dresden, Sydney, Sparta, Bangkok, Nairobi, Montreux and more.

Swimming, tennis and athletics are the other sports that will feature in Coventry over the coming days.

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