Summer Camps Revive Memories

By Frank Greally

running past the finish line

The launch of the Irish Life Health Athletics Summer Camps takes me back to a time over fifty years ago when I was a fledging young athlete with Ballyhaunis Athletic Club.

I had almost by accident found that I had a talent for distance running and I was eager to learn everything possible about best I could improve on my performances and make the best of the talent that had already earned me a couple of county under-age championships.

summer camps launch

And so when I learned that BLE, the then Governing body of Athletics, now known as Athletics Ireland, were organising a Summer School Of Athletics on the campus of UCD in Belfield, I was made sure to sign up for the week long course, even though I had never been to Dublin on my own.

It is with great fondness that I remember that Summer School of Athletics and the daunting challenge of booking in and staying for a week in a Bed & Breakfast in the centre of Dublin. It was my first big trip away from home and I was about 16 at the time.

It excites me know to see top rated young Irish athletes like champion sprinter Molly Scott, National High Jump Champion, Daena Kealy and Thrower Rory Gunning lending their support to the Irish Life Health Athletics Summer Camps.

irish life health summer camps

This year more than twenty Summer Camps will take place across 13 counties and will provide children with the opportunity to be active, make new friends and develop many aspects of their physical abilities, such as speed, agility and balance, three key attributes needed for any sport children may choose in the years ahead.

I still remember the final day of the Summer School Of Athletics in Belfield when all participants were presented with a certificate of attendance. I got that certificate framed and it hung in the house at home for many years, a reminder of a great week when I made many new friends and learned a whole lot about running.

finish line

I note that the children who attend the Irish Life Health Athletics Summer Camps will go home at the end of the week end with a number of rewards including a T Shirt, Spike Bag, and Water Bottle. However, the biggest reward will for all will be the week of fun and laughter and some learning too.

I hope that many of the children who take part in these Irish Life Athletics Summer Camps are able to look back many years from now and smile and remember a lovely week in the Summer of 2019. Best Wishes to all participants!

To register for this years summer camps visit