first_imgDonegal Under 13 Boys Team including Team Managers Brendan O’Donnell and Anthony Ward, which will represent Ulster at the UK Sportshall Finals in Birmingham this SundayA squad of 31 young Donegal athletes will travel to Birmingham early this morning (Friday) to take part in the UK Sportshall Finals, the pinnacle of Sportshall athletics across the UK and Ireland.Just a few short weeks ago, three out of four Donegal teams claimed top spot at the Ulster Sportshall Finals in Magherafelt which qualified them to represent Ulster in Birmingham on Sunday.Such was the quality of these young athletes, that the three teams defeated their rivals from across the province by sizeable margins when the final points were tallied. At the UK Finals on Sunday, the standard will be an altogether different proposition.However, as in previous years, the privilege and honour of donning the county colours will inspire and drive these young athletes to show they are equal to if not better than their British counterparts.Youngsters accustomed to the rocks, hills and glens of South West Donegal or the harsh Atlantic waves around the Rosses will be more than a match for athletes from the leafy shires of England, Cheshire, Hertfordshire, Derbyshire, etc.With athletes from Sliabh Liag, Finn Valley, Letterkenny, Lifford, Inishowen and the Rosses all taking part, there is a wide representation from across all parts of the county. At a squad session in Letterkenny on Tuesday evening, the young athletes, representing Under 13 Girls and Boys and Under 15 Girls teams met in Letterkenny to put the finishing touches to their preparations.Making his first public athletics appearance in nearly six months, Sportshall stalwart, Neil Cullen received a warm welcome from both athletes and parents, many of these athletes having been to Birmingham with Neil previously.Unfortunately due to illness, this will be Neil’s first year not making it to Birmingham, having started the journey for Donegal teams nearly twenty years ago. Indeed, Neil pointed out that there hasn’t been a year that Donegal has not been represented in Birmingham, a tradition proudly carried on by these young athletes in 2013 and an impressive three teams at that.Neil also highlighted athletes such as Britain’s Mark Lewis Francis and Jessica Ennis who started their path to Olympic glory in their youth at Birmingham, as well as many young Donegal athletes who went on to outstanding athletics careers.County Board Chairman Neil Martin also addressed the athletes and spoke of their outstanding ability at being selected for Donegal. Neil highlighted the many opportunities such as Sportshall, Youth Olympics, etc that are now offered to young athletes, whereas in his own time running, he recalled the muddy fields that were the best on offer. Neil also spoke of the honour and privilege that the athletes should enjoy at representing not just Donegal and Ulster, but also their clubs, schools and parishes.The 31 athletes will be accompanied on the trip by Under 13 girls team managers Sharon Bradley and Tanya Byrne, Under 13 boys by Anthony Ward and Brendan O’Donnell, and the Under 15 girls by Louise Gillespie.The teams travel out on Friday accompanied by the County Derry Under 15 boys team, will compete at the impressive Birmingham NEC Arena on Sunday and return to Donegal on Monday. While giving their very best is not in doubt, who knows, Donegal athletes and teams may bring home more than a few treasured memories come Monday.U13 Girls TeamDonegal Under 13 Girls Team including Team Managers Tanya Byrne and Sharon Bradley, which will represent Ulster at the UK Sportshall Finals in Birmingham this SundayU15 Girls TeamDonegal Under 15 Girls Team including Team Manager Louise Gillespie, which will represent Ulster at the UK Sportshall FinalsBOUND FOR BIRMINGHAM: DONEGAL’S FINEST YOUNG ATHLETES ON ROAD TO GLORY was last modified: April 5th, 2013 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:BOUND FOR BIRMINGHAM: DONEGAL’S FINEST YOUNG ATHLETES ON ROAD TO GLORYlast_img

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