Crusaders’ junior athletics continues to grow in popularity in this early part of 2009. On Tuesdays & Thursdays we work with the slightly older children, 10 years upwards. We had a record number of 16 last Tuesday. This brought its own problems as Tuesday is also the night that the distance runners use the track. And of course they are out in force as New Year resolutions kick in. Not to speak of two groups of sprinters and a number of athletes working on their own. Throw into the mix the fact that the infield was still out of bounds due to Brent Geese fortifications then the only place for us to work was on the high-jump fan. But we managed.

On Thursday the track was comparatively deserted and the juniors a few less in number. But this morning the children were back in force, about 30 in all ranging from age 6 upwards. Moira was back in coaching harness, albeit still on crutches. She travels in from Roundwood, high in the Wicklow Hills, three times a week which is some commitment.

The groundstaff must have judged that the Brent Geese have now taken flight back to Canada as the infield was blissfully open again today. With the weather closing in rapidly we managed to squeeze in drills, running, hurdles, long jump and throwing foam javelins. Then the ‘traditional’ 4 x 100m relay in which everyone takes part. With eight teams it was a great spectacle, and a couple of Mums battling it out down the home straight sent everyone off in good spirits as the wind picked up and the rain began to fall.

We have a great bunch of kids, though they are mainly from one neighbouring school. To really progress the club we need to expand our net, but we will also need more coaches – the old story.

Next Sunday we are having a mass invasion of Raheny for the childrens’ races at the big Raheny 5 road race.

**By clicking the title you can link to a nice pic of our feathered friends who nevertheless do their best to destroy Irishtown every winter!