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for young people across Ireland

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Events

Region 2 report

February 7th, 2011

Around 130 teenagers and 40 adults from Mayo clubs converged on the amazing Gateway Leisureplex in Belmullet Co. Mayo on Saturday February 5th for a day that brought about strikes, birdies, an electric chair, strength tests, team building activities and training in communications and assertiveness.  The teenagers and adults were there for the No Name Club region 2 finals of the National Youth Awards and it was the clubs of Ballinrobe and Erris that went home celebrating as their respective hostess and host were chosen to represent the region at the competition’s semi-finals.  Malachy Gaughan of Erris No Name Club and Catherine O’Connor of Ballinrobe No Name Club took the honours and were chosen from a very strong field of young people.

The panel of judges – Superintendent Patrick Diskin, Noreen Sadler and Lorraine Munneally from the Road Safety Authority – had a busy day interviewing the 11 finalists from Erris, Balla, Achill, Louisburgh, Ballinrobe and Westport. The Judges could not praise the finalists enough, remarking that they had an extremely difficult job in selecting the winners as all the candidates were so good. Those candidates were Rachel Lally and Malachy Gaughan (Erris), Edel Hastings and John Smith (Westport), Cillian McNamara and Clare McNamara (Achill), Josephine Cannon (Louisburg), Jack McKenna and Catherine O’Connor (Ballinrobe), and Shannon Stephenson and Paul Ruane (Balla).

The day was action packed, with one aspect of it being the training programme in communications and assertiveness that was delivered by Edith Geraghty, Chairperson of Erris No Name Club. This proved to be very popular for all who participated and will be of immense benefit to the young people as they move into adulthood.  Achill No Name Club has become the first club in the country to have completed the NNC Training Program in full and received an award to reflect this achievement.

Gateway Leisureplex had an enormous amount to offer for young and old alike. There were plenty of strikes, spares and balls down the gutter as the teenagers took to the bowling alley for enjoyment and competition. The cues were also chalked when they took to the pool table and the arcade games offered lots of enjoyment. These included rally driving, an electric chair and strength test. Outside the venue, there were holes in one, birdies, bogeys, double bogeys and frustration and laughter as the club hosts and hostesses took to the mini-golf course.  With energy levels running low, it was time to serve delicious food to all, with the Chicken Curry and Chips being a particular favourite.

As the fun and enjoyment was taking place in the Leisureplex venue, the club Hosts and Hostesses were being interviewed by the panel of judges. With the interviews over, all assembled for the on-stage interviews and party pieces that were to be performed by the nominated Hosts and Hostesses. The event MC, Pat Cafferkey, asked the young people about their involvement with the No Name Club and the important roles they are playing within their communities.  Winning host Malachy’s party piece was a song he’d wrote about the issue of road safety. He tried put himself in the shoes of somebody who had killed another person because of dangerous driving and the song was extremely moving and emotive. Winning hostess Catherine performed a fantastic piece of modern dance choreography that began with Indian dancing and concluded with the birdy song. Performances were delivered in drumming, drama, guitar playing and singing by the other hosts and hostess. Each of the final hosts and hostesses spoke extremely well about their club and themselves and left the judges with serious headaches in terms of choosing a winner.

After deliberating for some time, Chairman of the Judging panel Superintendent Patrick Diskin announced the winners to a packed house: Catherine and Malachy. Superintendent Diskin told the audience the judging panel was extremely impressed with the quality of the candidates and all involved had a very difficult job in picking two winners. He said it was an absolute pleasure to meet all the candidates and complemented them all on their character. The judges were presented with a piece of inscribed Mayo Crystal to mark their participation at the event. With the winners announced, the clubs made their way back to their respective communities in Mayo: tired, but happy following on from a fun-filled day.

Edith Geraghty, chairperson of Erris No Name Club, would like to take the opportunity to thank her club members Ann Lynskey, Joe Moss, Patrick Deane, Laura Lynskey, Alison Carey and Seamus Geraghty for all their help and support in putting the event together. She also wants to express her thanks to Enda Brogan and all the staff at Gateway Leisureplex and to the judges for their time and hard work.

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