Here in Ireland a young athlete is a ‘juvenile’. Although generally I think I have integrated well I still find the adjective ‘juvenile’ can really only be followed by the noun ‘delinquent’. So I will call our young Crusaders juniors for now.

And very well they are doing too. Whilst I was over at Adamstown on Sunday there were a number in action up in Santry in Match 4, the last one, of the Dublin Juvenile League. We continue to do well in the throws – honestly I’d be disappointed if we weren’t. Isabel O’Leary got another win in the shot and Niamh Ferry was second – I think it was Niamh’s first entry in a throws competition. Alix Hughes followed up her discus and shot wins in Match 3 with another first in javelin. A third win came from Clodagh Ferry, competing in the long jump a year ahead of her age group as she was late for her own! Nice to be getting first places. We expect the full results together with the final league standings to come out shortly.

Now the serious stuff is about to start. Notably the Dublin Championships which lead on to the Nationals for those that do well. And we can expect far smaller fields in the throws as those who, until now, have just been ‘having a go’ will not be present. In addition to the championships there are team relays, again leading on to greater things for those successful ones. I suspect however that things will tail off quickly once the school holidays begin.

Attendances are good at training. We had a great morning last Saturday with the sun shining. And it was great to see our new coaches itching to get involved and help out. And the onus is on us existing coaches to see that they are given every opportunity to coach whilst being there to advise if necessary. This is a difficult balance, trying to encourage new coaches to get on with it and take a group without throwing them in at the deep end. But it is great to see that Crusaders is unlikely to end up like Jersey Spartan AC with an ‘active’ coaches list a page long but with, on a rainy February evening, the same small handful of coaches doing all the work.

And we have split our work now with me taking on the U14/U15 groups, Moira the U12/U13 and Moya the U10/U11. On Saturdays we get the ‘babies’ from age 6 upwards and we need to look after them as well. In addition we each have our own specialities. I am throws, Moira is hurdles and pole vault whilst Moya is taking a firm interest in high jump. But it’s fair to say we turn our hand to most everything!

Now let’s hope we get a run of fine weather with the omens good for the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekend.