17th July – Report of the Day
Sunday 17th July dawned with the promise of some “Rest and Relaxation” for our u-16 camogie girls. The sun was splitting the stones and the forecast was good for the day.
Numbers were limited due to holidays and some girls on Dublin duty, but what they lacked in numbers the girls more than made up for in enthusiasm and exuberance.
The expected day of prolonged “R & R” was called into question when a van arrived and the driver Brian proceeded to unload items that would be more in keeping with Katie Taylor than Katie McDonald. Boxing gloves, boxing pads, skipping ropes, and a heavy rope were among the items waiting to be used. An hour of “boxercise” ensued, with Brian putting the girls through their paces under the watchful eyes of James, Declan and Ger.
Skipping to the Music
After some initial running and skipping the girls paired up, one with gloves and the other with pads. Each went at it hell for leather. Not even a heavily strapped knee could stop Saoirse as she battered relentlessly at Erica’s defences, while the hooking and jabbing from Caoimhe and Sadhbh would have been more at home in the National Stadium.
The girls really gave their all and hugely enjoyed the experience. As they recovered their breath, there was unanimous agreement that a few sessions in January would be great. Put that in your calendars.
Then it was time for a bite to eat and we retreated to the barbeque area. Burgers and Hot Dogs replaced all the lost energy and soon all were rarin to go again.
Next on the agenda were some water rockets, from a launching pad that had been set up in the front yard. Missile after missile was launched, the highlight being one prepared by Alana which actually cleared a nearby building and momentarily threatened the fuselage of a passing low flying aircraft.
Then there was a Luas trip into town disembarking at Heuston and heading up to the Park, where we rented a selection of bikes from the great Conal Keaney and the team at “Phoenix Park” bikes. They looked after us like VIPs, and Conal even posed for a few photos, before the cycling adventure began.
Up the main road until James gave the instruction to divert left. The object of his attention was a group of aging and greying men dressed in white, tossing a leisurely ball at one another, between cups of tea. He was agog and explained his undying passion for cricket, and the nuances of the game, to the girls, who (to their eternal credit) feigned some level of interest. Only when James announced that he was hoping to see one of these rotund gentlemen bowl a maiden over did we decide that it was probably time to move on. There was general agreement that this would probably not have been a pretty sight.
Cricket players in Phoenix Park react when James leads his merry gang into the viewing area.
Up then to the Papal Cross, with Deirdre and Elaine setting the pace, and the peleton struggling to keep pace. The Papal Cross area momentarily became a potential crime scene, when it was discovered that the saddle had been deliberately removed from one of the bikes (Ger Delaney’s in fact!). A search ensued and eventually the missing item was located close to the chief suspects Hannah and Blathnaid, but it was decided not to press charges on this occasion, due to a decided reluctance on the part of most of the witnesses to assist in the investigation.
Onwards past the American Ambassador’s residence and up to the Castleknock Gate. Supplies were now running low and some of the girls looked dangerously malnourished, as they relaxed “under a spreading chestnut tree”. It was decided that sustenance was required, so James took on the “Tom Crean” role and decided to go with Ger and explore beyond Gate and up the Castleknock Road. The journey proved fruitful and it was not long before, the girls were feasting on a selection of choc ices and icebergs, and catastrophe had been averted.
Picnic in the Park!
We then made our way back to return the bikes and trekked to Christchurch to get a bus back to the club house. Parents were there to collect and there was unanimous agreement that it had been a brilliant day.
Roll on the next one.