Family Fun Day

The Garrycastle GAA Club annual family fun day and sponsored fun walk was held on Sunday, September 7th. On an absolutely fantastic early autumn day, a huge turnout of the clubs youngest players ensured that a great time was had by all.

The day started with the sponsored walk, which is one of the annual fundraisers for the juvenile teams. This year the walk proceeded from the clubhouse in Garrycastle to Blyry and back, with numerous stops for lollipops and drinks along the way.

A number of famous characters attended this year, among them Super Mario himself, Mickey Mouse and a blue Minion.These were an abolutely huge hit with the assembled players, and indeed so taken with their focus and ability was one team manager, that they are rumoured to be drafted in for service in this years under-16 championship!

(Picture shows Under-16 manager Rowan Champ Mulvihill, with the new Under-16 full-back line)!

On returning to the club-house at the end of the walk, the players, parents and brother and sisters were treated to a barbecue, served up by some more of the under-16 squad, under the expert eye of the club chairman - well known to make a fine burger himself.

Music was provided by one Garrycastle, (Liam) and two Athlone (Ciaran and Conor) men, who entertained the assembled crowd with favourites from the Beatles, Oasis and other guitar favourites.

Tea/Coffeee and other refreshments were provided by Jackie, Sinead and numerous members of the ladies club. The face painting was a huge hit, leading to a field full of various versions of spiderman, fairies, cats, dogs and even angry birds being seen!

After the serious business of eating was complete, prizes were announced for the best fancy dress at under-8 age group (won by Daniel Sierpinski) and under-6 age group (won by Kayleigh Clyne).

The picture shows Daniel and Kayleigh with Club chairman Terry Larkin, and Juvenile club chairman Mark Redmond.

There were also prizes for the most sponsorship raised (1st place going to Stephanie and Emer O'Neill, with second place going to Ben Kilkenny), and numerous other prizes given out.

Once the burgers were eaten, and the prizes were handed out, it was time for one of the highlights of the day (if not the year!) - a challenge match between a Girls U14/U16 side, and the Boys U14/U16 side.

From the outset, this was always going to be a "different" match, as from the throw in, Super Mario could be seen competing for the ball. With a bright blue Minion acting as goalkeeper for the girls team, the scores flowed freely, helped along it must be said by some "unusual" refereeing decisions. The Boys stand-in managers for the day, Eoin and Conor Mulvihill, tried hard to get their team going, but distractions were everywhere, and the match ended eventually in a draw, with the boys scoring a face-saving goal in the last few seconds.

One of the highlights has to be Super Mario soloing practically the length of the field, only to have his costume start to fall down as he neared goal. Pictures of this would be appreciated ...

Overall, this was a hugely successful day for the Garrycastle GAA and Garrycastle Ladies LGFA clubs. Huge thanks must go to Mark Redmond for organising the day, to Terry Larkin for acting as MC on the day, to Jackie, Sinead and the Ladies club for keeping everything going, to all of the parents and team mentors who helped out with everything from stewarding the sponsored walk, to organising the face painting, to cooking the burgers and making hundreds of cups of tea and glasses of orange. Massive thanks also to Brian, Caolan and Mark for their star turns in the character costumes, not easy on a very warm day (even if Mark was fan-assisted in his costume!). Not to forget the managers of the competing Boys and Girls teams, and last, but certainly not least to Mick Mannion, for his refereeing decisions - no amount of motions at Croke Park could cover the breadth and width of the decisions made in the match!

The picture album below gives a taste of the events and fun on the day.