Date Published: 26-Jul-2012
A Galway sports scientist – who is at the cut and thrust of elite sport and has worked with such sporting legends as three-time 3,000m steeplechase World champion, Moses Kiptanui – believes Ireland’s athletes do continually well to punch above their weight at international level.
With the Olympics on our doorstep, even the most cursory of sports fans will be anticipating Irish success at the international showpiece but Moore says that for an athlete to qualify for the Games is a phenomenal achievement in itself.
“I think, in Ireland, we are massively punching above our weight, yet we have athletes who are working at the very highest level of world sport and have an opportunity to compete,” says Renmore native Moore, who is founder of ORRECO, an IT Sligo-based sports company that helps athletes to reach peak performance.
“Any athlete, if you think of it, who makes it to an Olympics is phenomenal. They are unique and special and are extremely talented. The only thing is, when the Olympics come around every four years, if they don’t win a medal, people think they are not a success.
“However, these guys train phenomenally hard for four or eight years. So, I think anyone who gets a personal best at the games, that has to be their first marker. Then, it (second marker) would be a top 10 finish, and the next goal is to reach a final. And once you are in a final, who knows?” says Dr. Moore.
Indeed, the 36-year-old has a unique insight in this respect, having worked with many of the top sportspeople and athletes over the last decade. These include Kiptanui, our own Sonia O’Sullivan, current Olympian and reigning European cross country champion Fionnuala Britton and the British Olympics sailing squad.
In addition, members of ORRECO have also worked – and, in some cases, continue to work with – the likes of golfer Padraig Harrington, renowned British athletes Paula Radcliffe and Mo Farah, and the Nike Oregon Track Club (USA), which has five athletes competing at the Olympic Games in London. Also, ORRECO recently signed a significant two-year contract with the Irish Institute of Sport.
The credentials of ORRECO’s staff are almost as impressive as those they work for. They include former first team physiologist for Real Madrid, Dr. Carlos Gonzalez; former speed and power consultant to the New Zealand All-Blacks, Dr. Christian Cook; and the performance nutritionist for Great Britain’s Olympic teams, Nathan Lewis.
What Moore and his impressive team has done through ORRECO, is develop a high tech blood and saliva testing technique that helps athletes reach peak performance, protects sports men and women from overtraining syndrome and helps reduce the number of training days lost to illness and infection.
Although the company was only incorporated by Moore and consultant physician Dr. Andrew Hodgson in November 2009, the Galway man’s journey to this point in time began almost 18 years ago when he began training as a physical education teacher in Strawberry Hill in London.
“I was inspired to go there by my PE teacher in St. Mary’s, Liam Sammon,” says Moore. “I hadn’t fully appreciated it at the time but when I arrived I realised it was one of the top European bases for middle and long distance running.
“You had a lot of the world class Kenya athletes, along with some Americans and Australians. They were all based there in South West London. In fact, on my very first day, Moses Kiptanui, the world record holder, jogged passed me.”
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
The way we were – Protecting archives of our past
People’s living conditions less than 100 years ago were frightening. We have come a long way. We talk about water charges today, but back then the local District Councils were erecting pumps for local communities and the lovely town of Mountbellew, according to Council minutes, had open sewers,” says Galway County Council archivist Patria McWalter.
Patria believes we “need to take pride in our history, and we should take the same pride in our historical records as we do in our built heritage”. When you see the wealth of material in her care, this belief makes sense.
She is in charge of caring for the rich collection of administrative records owned by Galway County Council and says “these records are as much part of our history as the Rock of Cashel is. They document our lives and our ancestors’ lives. And nobody can plan for the future unless you learn from the past, what worked and what didn’t”.
Archivists and librarians are often unfairly regarded as being dry, academic types, but that’s certainly not true of Patria. Her enthusiasm is infectious as she turns the pages of several minute books from Galway’s Rural District Councils, all of them at least 100 years old.
Part of her role involved cataloguing all the records of the Councils – Ballinasloe, Clifden, Galway, Gort, Loughrea, Mountbellew, Portumna and Tuam. These records mostly consisted of minutes of various meetings.
When she was cataloguing them she realised their worth to local historians and researchers, so she decided to compile a guide to their content. The result is For the Record: The Archives of Galway’s Rural District Councils, which will be a valuable asset to anybody with an interest in history.
Many representatives on these Councils were local personalities and several were arrested during the political upheaval of the era, she explains.
And, ushering in a new era in history, women were allowed to sit on these Rural District Councils – at the time they were not allowed to sit on County Councils.
All of this information is included in Patria’s introductory essay to the attractively produced A4 size guide, which gives a glimpse into how these Rural Councils operated and the way political thinking changed in Ireland during a short 26-year period. In the early 1900s, these Councils supported Home Rule, but by 1920, they were calling for full independence and refusing to recognise the British administration.
“I love the tone,” says Patria of the minutes from meetings. “The language was very emotive.”
That was certainly true of the Gort Rural District Council. At a meeting in 1907, following riots in Dublin at the premiere of JM Synge’s play, The Playboy of the Western World the councillors’ response was vehement. They recorded their decision to “protest most emphatically against the libellous comedy, The Playboy of the Western World, that was belched forth during the past week in the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, under the fostering care of Lady Gregory and Mr Yeats. We congratulate the good people of Dublin in howling down the gross buffoonery and immoral suggestions that are scattered throughout this scandalous performance.
For more from the archives see this week’s Tribunes here
Real Galway flavour to intermediate club hurling battle in Birr
Date Published: 23-Jan-2013
Athenry fail to take chances as they bow out of Junior Cup
Date Published: 29-Jan-2013
Athenry FC 1
Kilbarrack United 2
(After extra time)
For the second year in succession Athenry were done in extra time in the FAI Junior Cup as last season’s beaten finalist’s came from behind to snatch an excellent game in Moanbawn on Sunday afternoon.
On a heavy pitch that was only playable following extensive groundwork by club officials all morning, the home side were by far the better side in the opening half, but failed to take advantage of a number of opportunities that came their way.
An Alan O’Donovan penalty gave them a merited advantage just after the restart, but thereafter were on the back foot as Kilbarrack took over, but for all their pressing, the home rearguard were dealing comfortably with their forays.
However they were struck a body blow just six minutes from time, as big striker Keith Kirwan was left all alone at the far post to head the equaliser and from that point on the Dubliners were the better side.
They started off the extra time in the ascendancy and enjoying all the momentum before striking for a good winning goal on 104 minutes. A strong bench allowed them to make some necessary changes and it was not a facility that was available to Athenry manager Gabriel Glavin.
With Gary Forde and Gary Delaney out through suspension following their sending off against OLBC in the previous round, and Seamie Crowe injured, it left their bench rather threadbare with just a number of young squad players available.
Playing with the aid of the slight incline and any wind advantage going, the home side had a Connor Cannon effort on target in the opening minute, while John Meleady was just over with a flick at the other end.
Meleady then tested Andrew Walsh who saved comfortably, before the goalkeeper pulled off a brilliant double save on 14 minutes.
Firstly he went full length to push away a Meleady shot and was then back on his feet to parry David Jackson’s close-range rebound.
For more, read this week’s Connacht Sentinel.