Joe Geraghty reports on Vision Sports MayFest 2017!
MayFest 2017, our 35th anniversary games, was simply the best!
Vision Sports President Prof. Michael O’Keeffe threw in the ball at TalkFest, a conference which included interactive sports, at ChildVision on Friday 19th May. The topic of the day was “Vision Sports — 2020 and beyond”. Guest speakers included the fastest Paralympian on the planet Jason Smyth as well as Peter McKenna (GAA), Denis Toomey (Paralympics Ireland, Olympic Council of Ireland), Paul O’Rahilly (Irish Blind Golf), Rahim Nazarali (Vision Sports) and Liam O’Donohoe (Tennis Ireland).
The morning panel discussion was chaired by Rob Hartnett from Sport for Business while Shane Califf from Sport Ireland chaired the afternoon discussion. Colm Larkin from Vision Sports took overall charge. The day began with the school children from St. Joseph’s displaying futsal and finished over at the ChildVision Equestrian centre, hosted by manager Audrey Darby.
Markievicz Sports Centre
Following the early evening meal at Flanagans on O’Connell St. it was over to poolside at nearby Markievicz Sports Centre where Frank Cullinane was putting swimmers through a variety of distance challenges from 750m upwards.
As dawn broke the following morning it was all on board the NCBI bus and off to meet the tandem cyclists on the daunting 20 mile Swords loop, Local boy, Tom Walsh, won the overall prize: the Shane Clyne Memorial Trophy.
Over at Newbridge Demesne, Michael Lavin and Sean O’Brien were taking a group of vision impaired walkers on a 6k stroll. Back at base at ALSAA sports centre blind tennis players from DCU and Shankhill did battle. It ended: love all. Meanwhile, Fiona Cusack arranged a tenpin tournament at the ALSAA Bowl.
RTE’s Derek Mooney popped in for lunch. As Ireland’s very first Paralympics broadcaster Derek was at ease and made a very inspiring speech. For prize presentations Derek was joined on stage by Jason Smyth, Prof. O’Keeffe and Trish Clyne. Trish and her family donated the top prize of the day for cycling.
Hungry then for more action, and on to the mat for judo. You could putt an effort into Blind Golf or be game ball with the blind footballers. You could row your boat; try tennis, run against a few Paralympians. Many of the children took to the tandems for a spin.
Finally, we got to sit down for the MayFest Dinner over at Landsdowne Tennis Club. Time to unwind and dance the night away.
What a night, what a weekend!