O’Flaherty competes at the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade

The European Indoor Championships took place over the first weekend of March in the Kombank Arena in Belgrade, Serbia. After running an indoor personal best and European Qualifying Time of 4:14.63 at the International Grand Prix meeting in Athlone on the 15th February and then securing the Irish title over 1500m, on 19th February, Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle & District AC was selected for Ireland to compete in Serbia. In the arena housing 20,000 spectators, O’Flaherty set out in her semi-final comfortably on the pace but just after half way she found it tough going even though the pace was slightly slower than her lifetime best pace from only two weeks earlier. She was disappointed to come home in 6th place, with the underlying virus she picked up in late December rearing its head again. Her focus now will be on gaining the Qualifying Time for the Steeplechase for the World Championships which take place in the Olympic Stadium in London in August.

Junior Volunteering Opportunity

Do you have a son or daughter, or someone you know aged 14-24 who would love the opportunity to volunteer? Newcastle Junior Athletic Club (NJAC) are delighted to announce that we will be offering the Millennium Volunteers Programme within our Club.

Millennium Volunteers is an initiative to promote and recognise volunteering among young people. The programme will:

  • Enable you to develop your learning and skills
  • Provide recognition for you
  • Give you the opportunity to make new friends, gain confidence and make a difference.

Each volunteer will be issued with their own Record Book to help them record their own personal objectives, time spent volunteering and assessing what they have learnt.

Opportunities for volunteering are on Monday evenings at Shimna College during training from 7-8pm and also at McGrady Financial Services Cross Country Series.

The Millennium Volunteer Programme can run alongside other volunteering programmes such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Millennium Volunteers receive awards when they complete 50, 100 and 200 hours.

The Millennium Volunteer Programme coordinator for NJAC is Mrs Catherine McIntosh. If you are interested or require further details please contact Catherine at 07482186654 by Friday 10th March 2017.

Newcastle AC unveil plans for 2017 Hill and Dale Series

An overview of the 2017 series by Bogusboy

Newcastle AC is please to reveal the races in the 2017 Hill and Dale Series. The 11 race series begins in Castlewellan on Thursday 13 April. This race and the following event in Tollymore are considered to be a gentle easing in for the athletes. Both races are within the confines of the forest parks and while there is invariably some steep climbing, these tend to be short and sharp. Navigational ability is not essential as these are marked courses where the runner must follow the prescribed route at all times. Continue reading

O’Flaherty breaks Indoor 1500m Personal Best, Qualifies for European Indoor Championships and wins Irish Indoor Title – Hanna storms to great debut in Armagh

The best week is arguably the biggest week of the year in Irish Athletics. On Wednesday evening, the eyes of the world were on the Indoor Stadium in Athlone for the International Grand Prix, the following evening saw the Armagh International 5k (men) and 3k (women) road races with the greatest strength in depth in any road race all year around the world and then on the weekend the Irish Indoor Championships took place in the new National Sports Centre in Abbotstown, Dublin.

International Grand Prix in Athlone
Athletes from across the world descended on Athlone on Wednesday. In the Women’s 1500m the finishing order were from Romania, Australia, GB, Sweden, Ireland, Australia, Ireland, GB, Ireland, Cyprus, USA & Belgium. Rio Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty from Newcastle & District AC ran strongly to come home in 7th place in 4:14.63 – a new indoor lifetime best knocking 0.4 seconds off her previous best and most importantly was inside the 4:15 European Qualifying Standard. Continue reading

Junior News

The final race of the McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series is this Sunday 26th February in Tollymore Forest Park. Online registration is NOW CLOSED. There will be no on-the-day registrations. Club check-in will be open from 12 noon and will close at 12.45 SHARP so please arrive in plenty of time and dress accordingly for the weather!  First race starts at 1pm. Please inform the Ranger on arrival that you are there for the XC Series and you shouldn’t have to pay for parking.

This race is organised by Newcastle Junior AC and as such we need a lot of helpers. Response for help has so far been very disappointing. We need volunteers to:

  • Help mark the course
  • Assist with athlete check-in
  • Marshall’s for both the Primary and Secondary School Races
  • 2 people at start line
  • 4 people at finish line
  • Someone for warm-up
  • Someone to show athletes the course to run (for younger athletes)
  • Photographer
  • Someone to write up the race report
    ….. to name but a few roles!

We need these volunteers for the race to go ahead so if you can help in any way please email juniors@newcastleac.org to let us know, and if you have a preference please indicate what you’d like to do!

Training resumes in Shimna College tomorrow night at 7pm – P7 and older athletes please dress for outdoor training.

We’re hoping for a great team turn out for Tollymore on Sunday so please show your support.

Junior Training, Races and Congratulations!

There will be no training this Monday 13th February due to mid-term break. Training will resume in Shimna at 7pm on Monday 20th February – post primary please dress for outdoor training. Parents please remember to park at the top and walk down to the school.

Reminder that the Rollercoaster Races take place this Saturday at Downpatrick Race Course. Organised by East Down AC registration opens at 10.30am and closes 30 mins before each race starts. More details on their website / Facebook page. Remember to wear your Newcastle AC vest!

Ronan McVeigh who came 2nd in the Minor Boys race at the Co. Down School’s Cross Country Championship.

Registration for the 5th and final race of the McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series is NOW CLOSED. The races will take place in Tollymore Forest Park on Sunday 26th February at 1pm. Online registration will close on Wednesday 22nd February at 9pm – you need only register once for the Series. Race 5 in Tollymore is organised by Newcastle Junior AC so we need volunteers to help mark the course, help with sign-in registration on the day, timekeeping, report writing and marshalling. Please email juniors@newcastleac.org if you can help in any way.

Congratulations to both Ronan McVeigh who came 2nd in the Minor Boys race and to Eve Kenneally who came 6th in the Minor Girls race at the Co. Down School’s Cross Country Championship today! Both have qualified for the Ulster Schools XC Race.

Hope you all have a lovely mid-term break.