SPORTS SHORTS

•A novel scrappage scheme for hurling helmets, supported by Galway star Joe Canning, is due to start nationwide in the near future. The scheme, which will run until February 21, will enable players to scrap any make or model of helmet, with or without a faceguard, and receive a discount on a new MARC IS355 certified helmet. In addition, MARC Sports’ chosen children’s charity, Make-A-Wish®, Ireland; will receive a donation for every helmet that is scrapped.Speaking about the first scrappage scheme run for hurling helmets, director general of the GAA, Paraic Duffy commented “MARC Sports is to be commended for launching this innovative scheme, which will ultimately increase the safety of our playing members. The IS355 approved hurling helmet is an important standard for the use of helmets and we wish MARC Sports every success with this campaign.”

•Former Connacht centre Mel Deane, who came out of retirement to help injury-hit Richmond, broke his hand within 30 minutes of the side’s 24-16 defeat to league leaders Ealing. Richmond’s director of rugby Geoff Richards called up Deane for the first time since he ended his playing career at Connacht to become fitness coach at the Athletic Ground, but Deane was forced off on 30 minutes when his side was leading 8-7.

•Mark Herrick has stepped down as assistant manager of Mervue United, saying he enjoyed his time with the club but is now looking forward to a break from football and supporting Mervue from the stands. Herrick was an integral member of the management team that helped Mervue gain promotion from the A championship and consolidate its first division status. Mervue manager Johnny Glynn paid tribute to Herrick’s “huge contribution to the club’s success over the past two seasons”. He will be replaced by u-20 manager Brendan O'Connor and Adrian Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick will be based in Dublin and will cover games along the east coast as well as travelling to Galway periodically for coaching sessions. Glynn says " I am delighted to have the two lads on board as they are both outstanding coaches and thorough professionals and will be important additions for what is going to be a very competitive season in the first division."

•There has been little action on golf courses around the county over the festive season, but hopes are high the weather will abate to ensure clubs hold their traditional captains’ drive-ins.

Portumna Golf Club has revised its schedule with its drive-ins for captains Pete Gibbs and Marie Kelly and president Judith Barry taking place on the first Sunday of play at 12.30pm

The following Sunday of play it will host its men’s hamper and the first day of the Spring League.

• Colm O’Hagan (Calasanctius/Maree BC ) has been named in the Irish u-18 squad for 2010 that will be travelling to the USA this summer. Ireland will make the trip to the USA to compete in representative games and a high performance camp.

• The second Galway Cross Country Workshop will take place in Dangan next Saturday (January 16 ) at 12 noon at NUIG sports grounds. This workshop is being organised as part of the Galway County Board's effort to encourage participation on Galway representative cross-country teams, but is suitable for all club cross-country runners. The workshop will be hosted by the regional development officer for the West of Ireland, Paul McNamara who is an experienced international cross country runner himself and will feature a session with James Geraghty, an expert on sports nutrition who is also a Ironman triathlete.

•Cup fixtures: Galway’s traditional basketball nursery, Calasanctius College, Oranmore, will contest three national cup semi-finals next week. The games were to be played yesterday (Wednesday ), but have been postponed until next week. The u-19 boys and u-16 girls, who are looking to advance to their fifth final in six years, will be played in Oranmore on Thursday (January 21 ), while the u-19 girls, who are chasing a third consecutive All-Ireland Cup title, will be in action on Friday (January 22 ) in Dublin.

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