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January 2019 Newsletter

As we kick of 2019, we are trying a new medium of communicating club information to all our members, in the form of monthly newsletters. No doubt 2019 will be another exciting year for the club with athletes competing in County, Leinster, National and European events. All members will get this newsletter in the last week of each month with updates from our club meetings, an overview of performances, details of upcoming events, fundraising and club development.
Club News

Committee Members

Our AGM was held on Monday the 3rd of December. Thank you to everyone that attended the meeting and best wishes to all our newly appointed positions for 2019. 
Bernard Graham (Chairman), Patsy Baldwin (Assistant Chairman), Caitríona McDonald (Secretary), Sharon Buggy (Assistant Secretary), Michael Daly (Membership & Registrar), Breda Daly (Treasurer), Stephen Lawlor and  James Nolan (PR Officers), Colm Graham and Carmel Hughes (Child Welfare Officers), Deirdre Brennan, /Ben Brennan, Jimmy Whelan, Dick Mullins, Jimmy Whelan, Michael Kelly, Pat Kelly, Joe Brennan, Noeleen Condron, Pat Whelan, Mary Whelan, John Territ, Siobhan Kealy, Colin Byrne, Joe Brennan, John Fenlon, Michael Doyle, Adrienne Kelly and Kevin Murphy.

Club Development

Big news for all involved in St Abban’s, the clubs application to the Capital Sports Programme for funding to develop our track facilities has being successful. The club has being granted €25,000 for the project.

This development will be a massive boost to the club and will help improve our facilities for all members to enjoy and train.

Without programmes like the Capital Sport it would be very difficult for clubs to continue to improve their facilities. A big thank you from all at St Abban’s A.C

We are delighted to report that St Abban’s AC had a very successful 2018 at Leinster level. This was recognised at the Leinster Star Awards held at the Bridge House Hotel Tullamore, on Saturday January 5th.
Nicole Kehoe Dowling was awarded the “Senior Female Athlete” for her outstanding performances throughout the 2018 Leinster Championships. This is a richly deserved recognition of her dedication to the Shot and Discus event especially while balancing her studies in nursing in DCU. Nicole was a prominent member of the St. Abban’s Women’s National League team who were 4th in Europe last year and who again will represent Ireland in Tampere this May.

Our second award of the night was for our National high jump champion, Barry Pender. Barry received this award in recognition of his successes and commitment to his event. Barry has excelled at the high jump and has competed for Ireland on numerous occasions at youth, junior and senior level. In particular, it was a great moment for the club watching him compete for Ireland in Amsterdam at the European Championships in 2016.

Our third award of the evening was the “Outstanding Service Award” and we were delighted that Pat Whelan has been recognised for all he has done for St. Abban’s and athletics in Laois. Pat has an encyclopedic knowledge of the sport and the time, commitment and dedication he has given and continues to give the club is ever appreciated. Our small club in Monavea is competing at provincial, national and international level because of the commitment of members like Pat.
A hearty congratulations to our 3 award winners from all in St Abban’s AC.

Recent Events

Well done to all participants of our St. Stephen’s Day race. It was great to have the Abbban’s community together today for one last event to end the year. We had two hugely competitive races that provided great entertainment for all spectators. Our National Novice Champion Cheryl Nolan won the Ladies mile race with a time of 5:17, a St. Stephen's Day record (5 seconds off the club record held by Eileen Kelly in 4 County League), superb achievement considering the other many talented women that have gone before her (since 1971). Jack Fenlon was first juvenile in at time of 5:29 and Caitlin McDonald was 3rd in 5:37. Last years winner Ailish Brennan was 4th in 5:50 and 5th was Adam Buggy in 5:52. The lady that improved the most and hence received the Jack Mealy cup was Sharon Buggy with a 37 second improvement on last year’s mile. Pauline Doyle was 2nd with a 33 second improvement and Caitlin McDonald was 3rd with a 24 second improvement.


Next was the men’s race for the 5k and we had 7 club singlets that went together from the start and battled it out for club glory. Brian Kelly led for the majority of the race with Cian and William Kelly supporting each other behind and Stephen Lawlor close behind them. On the last lap Cian took the lead at the top of the Turra and achieved family and club bragging rights to win in a time of 13:45, Brian had a huge improvement on last year to finish in 2nd place in 13:54 and William Kelly, in his first St. Stephen’s Day race, was 3rd in 14:12. Stephen Lawlor was 4th in 14:21 and Stephen Hunter was 5th in 14:34. The man that improved the most since last year’s race was Seamus Brennan (-2:08) and he was presented with the Paddy ‘Doc’ Delaney cup. Second most improved with Brian Kelly who was 58 secs faster and Niall English was 3rd running 35 seconds faster.
St Abban’s A.C Quiz Results 
On Thursday the 17th January, 18 teams battled it out over 10 rounds, in our annual table quiz. No punches were pulled in regard to the questions. At half way we were down to a there horse race with The Front Row, Top of the Hill and The Regulars going blow for blow. However as the questions came to an end the bragging rights went to the Front Row.
A big thank you to Behans Bar for the use of the lounge. To all the back room team who made it happen from making sandwiches to correcting questions. In particular to Pat Whelan who year after year puts the event together.
Thank you to all who supported the event. Your continued support allows the St Abban’s dream to be a reality.
Top 3 results
1st Team, "The Front Row" Eddie O'Reilly, Noel Nash, Seamus Dowling, John Martin 83 marks.
2nd Team "The Regulars" Colin Hughes, Jim Fleming, Aidan Rowan, George Rowan. 78 marks
3rd. Team "The Hill Tops" Caroline Hughes, Anita Brennan,Breda Daly, Michael Daly, 77 marks
Laois Indoors in Nenagh on the 19th of January

We all had a great day out at the Laois Indoors Championship which was held in Nenagh on the 19th of January. A big crowd travelled from the club, some by bus other by car but all were ready for battle. Great pride can be taken by the huge number of Abban’s singlets on show and how each athlete went to the well while wearing the club colours.

Another memorable trip to Nenagh which has provided the backdrop to many great club days out. Thank you to the coach’s, parents and athletes who made it happen. A big thank you to Laois Athletics for putting on the event and all our volunteers on the day.

National Indoor Results Sunday 27th January
Junior and U23 National Championships
Huge congrats to Ruby Millet Championship Best Performance and European Junior B Standard jumping 6.12m.
She was 1st junior women long jump and 2nd 60m hurdles 8:83.
Daena Kealy 1.72m PB 1st junior women high jump.
Ger kelly 7th 10:03 Junior Men Shot Putt.
Nicole Kehoe Dowling 10.99 U23 women shot put 2nd place.
Jamie Pender 49:52 U23 400m 4th place.
Club gear can now be bought online at You can order and pay online and we'll contact you when it will be available to collect in the clubhouse. 
We have huge numbers turning up every Monday and Wednesday night at 7:30pm, to participate in our Couch to 5K programme. Participants are making huge progress each week and making new friendships along the way. 

Dates have been decided for our Summer Fit4Life League:
Stage 1: Luggacurren, Wednesday 8th May
Stage2: Rossmore, Wednesday 22rd May
Stage3: Newtown, Wednesday 5th June
Stage4: Wolfhill, Wednesday 19th June
Stage5: Moneenroe, Wednesday 3rd July
Stage 6: Ballylinan, Wednesday 18th July
Stage 7: Graiguecullen, Wednesday 31st July
Stage 8: Monavea, Wednesday 14th August
Upcoming Events
European Championships 2019

On the 19th August 2018, in the Irish Life National League Championship 2018, our Women’s team made history again, winning the National League Premier Division title in Tullamore for 2nd year in a row. They will now travel to Tampere in Finland on to compete for Ireland in the European Championships. Fundraising is ongoing and  we'd appreciate as much support as possible to ensure our Women's team are fully prepared for the event.

The team intends to travel on Thursday the 23rd May and come back on Sunday 26th of May. We are currently researching flights and accommodation for athletes and coaches. If anyone else intends to travel to support, let us know and we'll send on all details.

Leinster Squads 2018-2019 – Update
The Development Squad takes place each day and is open to all athletes aged 12 years and over. The squad will cost €5 per athlete each day. Please check in at the venue 15 mins before the start time. Events covered on the Development Squad are as follows:
Day 3 - Sprints, Middle Distance, Shot, Long Jump              February 19th           National Indoor Arena                          10am – 12pm
 Day 4 - Hurdles, Middle Distance, Javelin and High Jump     March 9th             AIT Arena, Athlone                                  11am – 1pm
 Day 5 - Sprints, Middle Distance, Shot, Long Jump                April 20th           Morton Stadium, Santry                            11am – 1pm      
The Performance Squad is for selected athletes only from the U16 to U19 age groups. All event groups are covered each day of the Performance Squads. The remaining dates and times are as follows:
Day 3   February 19th 2019                  National Indoor  Arena                                         1pm-3pm
 Day 4   March 9th 2019                                AIT Arena, Athlone                                         1.30pm-4pm
Day 5   April 20th 2019                                    Morton Stadium, Santry                             1.30pm – 4pm
For further queries please contact Colin Byrne on or 087 0622326.
Coaching Courses:
We have a rota of parents helping out with coaching in the club. More volunteers are always welcome. We are currently getting everyone up to speed with the relevant AAI qualifications. We are hosting both an Assistant Coach Course and a Level 1 course in February and March. Courses will be free of charge to anyone willing to volunteer.

Email if interested -

Juvenile Track Rules:
  • Juvenile training nights are Friday night at 7:30pm to 8:30pm for U7s. The U7 group isn’t an official training group, all children must be members and parents are expected to participate and help with coaching.
  • All other training is from 7:30 to 9pm on Tuesday and Friday. There are also specialised field events on other nights.
  • On official training nights (Tuesday &Friday) all juveniles must stay in their groups at all times. If any juvenile is found in the clubhouse or around the grounds without their group or coaches permission, their parents will be called. Coaches cannot be responsible for any juveniles that don’t want to participate in the training.
  • The track is very busy and on training nights and kids have to be very mindful at all times of other athletes. They have to be careful not to cross onto the path of a running athlete. The athlete shouts ‘track’ when someone is in their way and it is important for their own safety that children obey the track etiquette.
  • Juveniles must be respectful and obey coaches at all times.
Upcoming Events
Dates for Indoors:
  • AAI Indoor Games 2nd February.
  • Leinster Juvenile Indoors Day 1 & Day 2 9th and 10th of February.
  • Leinster Senior & Masters Indoors 2nd March.
  • Leinster Juvenile Relays 3rd March.
  • National Juvenile Indoors Day 1 & Day 2 on the 30th and 31st March.
  • National Juveniles Day 3 , 6th April.
**It is important to check closing dates for all competitions!
  • Student Games 14th April
  • Open Sports 6th May
Check out and for more information on upcoming events.
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Our mailing address is:
Monavea, Crettyard, Co. Laois.

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