Paddy Kelly named as 2014 Mayo Athletic Hall of Fame recipient

All roads lead to Hotel Westport on Sunday, February 1, when Aughagower AC will this year host the 2014 C & C Cellular/Vodafone Mayo Athletic Awards. Athletes from all over Mayo will be honoured for their contribution to athletics during the past year. Certificates or awards will be presented to all athletes who won national and International medals in 2014. On the night some 130 awards will be presented.

Paddy Kelly, Castlebar Athletic Club, will be honoured as the 2014 Hall of Fame Recipient for his dedication and time given to athletics over many years. Paddy was born in Cooraclare in Clare, in 1945. His early sporting endeavours were in Gaelic Football. He won three County Clare Championship medals with Cooraclare – two at juvenile level and one at minor level. He played on a Clare minor team that lost narrowly to Kerry in a Munster final.

Paddy went to St Patrick’s Training College in Drumcondra in September 1963 to train as a national school teacher but left after a few months to join the Civil Service. He joined the Civil Service Athletic Club in 1964, and in 1966 won an All-Ireland Junior Cross Country Gold medal as a member of the Civil Service team. Later that year he won a Silver AAU Senior Cross Country medal with Civil Service AC and finished fourth in the National Marathon. An ankle injury which was initially sustained playing football then re-emerged and prevented him from pursuing his athletics career.

In 1976 Paddy came to Castlebar in the first de-centralisation of part of a Government Department. He continued his association with sport and was involved in the setting up of a branch of the Community Games in Keelogues. He officiated at the shot putt, javelin, and discus competitions at the Mayo Community Games for more than 25 years. He has been a member of Castlebar AC for 25 years or so and has officiated at county, Connacht and National Championships in AAI, and Schools Competitions for most of those years. Paddy has been involved in coaching since joining Castlebar AC. He has a particular interest in the throwing events, especially the hammer and javelin.

Paddy has coached numerous athletes to national and international titles in the throwing events.

Paddy was chairman of the Mayo County Board of AAI for the years 2008 to 2011 and has been an officer in the Castlebar AC in various positions for many years. He coaches for the hammer and javelin at the GMIT track in Castlebar on Sunday mornings throughout the year, and also on Wednesday evenings from the beginning of April to the end of September. During the winter months he coaches on Thursday nights in the Breaffy GAA hall. Anybody from the county who is interested in throwing is welcome to join him at his training sessions.

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