Athlone is getting ready to welcome a second wave of more than 3,000 athletes and their supporters in the coming days, for the second weekend of the HSE Community Games Festival 2014.
Last weekend saw 2,800 children take part in more than 40 different sporting and cultural events in Athlone, with approximately 750 of these taking part in the swimming finals at the Regional Sports Centre.
More than 7,000 children and their supporters converged on the town, and the fun and games are not over yet, with even bigger numbers expected this weekend.
This weekend’s activities, featuring over 3,000 participants, include team sports such as basketball, camogie, indoor soccer, rounders, and skittles; athletics including track events, discus, and long jump; as well as set dancing, music, and model making finals.
Visitors would have noticed last weekend that, for the first time, fast food and burger vans were not permitted on site. This is part of the HSE’s collaboration with Healthy Ireland to help promote health and wellbeing.
Speaking at the event, president Gerard Davenport said: “HSE Community Games has a very special place in people’s hearts for promoting camaraderie and friendly competition and this year we want to add to that and put the spotlight on healthy eating and participation. Every child in Ireland should be encouraged to eat well and be active, regardless of whether they win or lose.”
As well as healthy eating, the focus is heavily on participation, and this year every child goes home with their very own Participation Pin – another new incentive from HSE Community Games.