True SPORTING HEROS in my life.
As I said yesterday life on mt Everest affords you the time undivided to reflect on things that have shaped you as an individual and over the last few days I’ve done so unconsciously and sport for me has served me well, in times of darkness and disappear its one refuge I’ve turned to to ease the pain or keep me focused as a kid growing up.
But what really hit me in reflection was the individuals behind the sports that made it happen, unselfishly making there time available at no cost making huge sacrifices both in the home life, work life & in most cases putting there hand into there own pocket to keep the sport alive. I’m sure if we all stop for a second and look back at a sport we played of still do, you know exactly the person I’m talking about.
This character, in whatever ever way came into your life and without you knowing it shaped your attitude, focuses, goals and out look on life, outside of the great influences you received at home as well.
When you need it most you can look inside and find the answer, belief or solution to the problem or dark hole you find yourself in to crawl out off and fight on.
For me, like most of my friends it happened when we were very young and it was about the element of FUN not competition, even though that followed.
It was about fun and were weren’t even bothered about the type of sport and in most cases mammy or daddy was just glad to get you out of the house for a few hours peace, lol.
I know things have changed with kids protection & accountability but man if that was the case when us tearaways like many others taking off on our BMXs into town to playing GAA, soccer or up the the old swimming pool or tennis courts , then we would never have got anywhere. Now I can here the positives & negatives in the argument but these are my own personal views.
Donegal is a wonderful mind field of fantastic sport & sporting people, as I said unselfishly giving up there time not looking for a pat on the back, even though they duly deserve it, to help young kids pursue the sport they love themselves through others.
Champions from my town who quietly look at and admire and have had thought to draw Strenght from over the years , like
Our Olympian Danny Mc Daid along with Treasa & Herby Mc Daid & others servicing the young athletic needs of LKAC very well, a facility for the beginner & intermediate & now unbelievable elite athletes coming through, one I can’t wait to see in RIO is young Mark English & Brendan Boyce, what two great ambassadors to our county.
In GAA circles both Charlie Cannon & James Frian from the young club Letterkenny Gaels & The huge team of support & coaches at Letterkennys more established club St Eunans most successful county champions, look at Termon, Gary out in Glenswilly all proving unbelievable foundation for kids to develop locally.
RUGBY – LK RFC a club close to my own heart giving a grinding 8 years and still people like Marty Moylin & Jim Moore spade in hand keeping the door open for the youth of today.
Established clubs now the fabric of Letterkenny
LETTERKENNY BOXING CLUB with the famous boxing bros of the Mc Laughins
Now been successfully lead by John Elliot who entered as a youth.
The Mc Carron family in CARRIGART BOXING CLUB there week in week out without fail the door closed to no one.. That’s sport.
SOCCER CLUBS locally supporting youth development Bonagee united Eric & his backroom team & Letterkenny rovers & Swilly down in Ramelton weekly turning out youth teams.
Letterkenny gymnastic club which my own Cousn Natasha honed her skills & personality and Jessie down there weekly keeping again the youth youth development alive.
24 -7 TRIATHLON CLUB newly formed and embracing a new direction for Try a TRI young and old in aura 28th march 12pm.
Now this sport has just exploded everyone’s now out on bike and its so wonderful to see as individuals or as a team or simply a family spin out.
Leaders in the club scene for me were the founders in the county in cycling John Browne, Martin and Joe Berney all from Ramelton setting up tir Conaill wheelers which myself and my bother billy became part of in 1983, Jesus that’s a long time ago.
Now we have Fourmaster cc – Errigal cc, James Harkin driving the most successful youth cycling development programme in the county along side Northpole cc.
And we’re proud to have two and nearly three full time pros in our county Philip Diegan & Ronan Mc Laughlin both true ambassadors on the world stage.
Josie Murray in jiujitsu one of the most respected high ranked instructor in the world
Joe Patton in karate where my son billy is developing.
I mean I could go on and on from club to club who all do an unbelievable job for the youth of today which doesn’t sometimes get the rewards or sympathetic hearing they deserve. Not that they look for it.
My blog today while to sum long winded is in tribute to the coaches, committee members, backroom staff & family members at home who weekly make huge sacrifices with there time making themselves available late at night on cold wet wintery evenings standing on a pitch motivating our kids to push on in an unconscious development of a character later to be.
Finally to my own character, a developer who had a profound influence on me in sport my dad Billy Black and it all started when I was 7 through JUDO, my sisters Dervla Tanya & my brother Billy nightly headed to the nestles Dojo – Japanese for class or hall, behind the old model bakery in old town, I’m sure mammy was delighted to get the peace. Dad was the instructor of a successful class and from there my journey into sport began grading after grading competition after competition for 17 years enjoying many other sports in parallel along the way. Again I can genuinely thank sport for giving me the respect for people and the tools to dig myself out of the darkest holes when it’s needed physically and mentally.
I was taught an old saying by a wise old man one day and it stuck and if there’s anything to take from this personal blog it’s this
“If you tell a dog it’s a bad dog it will always be a bad dog”
try telling the kid its a great kid till you see the response.
Thank you Daddy & thank you the unsung hero’s of sport locally.
These are my honest and personal views, now I’m off to climb a pretty big hill well armed.
Heading back to Mt Everest ABC in the morning . So communication will be very light if any.