Talking Sport with Stephen Glennon
ATHENRY FC player and top-ranking Irish FootGolf player Gary Mullin is to compete in his second World Cup in Morocco next month and, this time round, he has been handed the honour of captaining Ireland’s 14-man team.
It has been three years since Talking Sport touched based with the former Salthill Devon and NUI Galway soccer player but Mullin, a native of Shrule, notes his interest in the sport has in no way diminished in the interim. “It has only grown if anything,” says Mullin.
Now, to get the opportunity to captain his country on the world stage, the 30-year-old, who would have been an automatic choice anyway given his solid display at the last World Cup, can barely contain his excitement.
“The way we did it was all the players who had played three or more events this year voted on who they would like to be the captain. I was chuffed when they voted me in to lead them to the World Cup. It is a huge honour. No matter what sport it is in, it is a huge honour to be able to say you are captaining your country.”
In 2015, Mullin tackled the emerging sport and by the end of the following year, as Ireland’s top-ranking player, he travelled to Buenos Aires in Argentina for his first World Cup. Out of the 250 players competing, Mullin notably finished in 14th place.
“So, that was a pretty good one. I actually went into the last round in 11th place but I lost a few places on the final day. Still, it was brilliant to be going out in the third last group of the day with some of the best in the world. So, it was a good one for me.”
This year, Mullin has not got to play as much as he would have liked, having taken up the role as tour director. The tour consists of eight events, along with an Open Day at the start of the season and the big one, the Irish Open itself, which he describes as their “flagship event”.
“So, out of those events on the tour, basically, your best six results determined your final placing in the overall rankings and that determined most of the players who would qualify for the World Cup.
“We also had a match-play competition in September and the winner of that qualified automatically and then we had a captain’s pick and a committee pick as well. The aim of those was to include players who weren’t necessarily based in Ireland and mightn’t have been able to play as many competitions over here.”
For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.
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Swimmer rescued in Salthill by Galway Lifeboat crew
Galway RNLI Lifeboat rescued a swimmer who got into difficulty near Blackrock this afternoon in poor weather conditions.
The alarm was raised at 12.25pm by a pedestrian who saw the woman struggling in the water between Blackrock and Ladies Beach. The Irish Coast Guard sought the assistance of the RNLI Lifeboat who launched from Galway Docks a short time later.
The woman who was a couple of hundred metres from the shore opposite the Galway Bay Hotel. They took the woman on board and brought her back to the Lifeboat Station where an ambulance was waiting. Paramedics assessed the woman’s condition and she was allowed home a short time later.
Shane Folan, Deputy Launch Authority with Galway Lifeboat said: “We would advise anyone thinking of going swimming to let someone else know. Today, for example, there were very challenging weather conditions with high winds and breaking surf.”
The lifeboat volunteer crew on the call-out were: David Badger (Helmsman), Martin Oliver, Ross Forde and James Rhattigan.
Gardaí warn GMIT students about weekend travel as Covid numbers rise
Students at GMIT have been warned by Gardaí that there will be checks at the bus and train stations to ensure compliance with the 5km travel rule – as the HSE warned today of increasing numbers testing positive for Covid-19 in the Galway City student outbreaks.
The college emailed all students to inform them that management had a meeting with Gardaí in relation to students planning on travelling home at weekends.
While students are permitted to travel to and from GMIT for educational purposes when there are onsite classes, there are no onsite classes scheduled at the moment and therefore there should not be any travel for educational purposes.
“The Gardaí have notified us that there will be checks at the bus and train stations to implement the 5km travel rule, as well as checkpoints on the roads, and that fines will be given for any non-compliance with this rule,” the email reads.
Meanwhile students at the college were also told that following the Covid outbreak last week among GMIT students, numbers are still increasing.
“The HSE informs us that numbers testing Covid positive continue to rise,” the email reads.
Help local charities by sharing your pandemic feelings
The public has been invited to write down and share with others their experience of living in Galway through the global Coronavirus pandemic.
‘Three Questions’, an initiative spearheaded by Galway Volunteer Centre, wants people of all ages and backgrounds to log their thoughts and feelings on the past year living with the reality of Covid-19.
The project aims are twofold: to develop a written archive of the memories of Galway people from the past 12 months but also the act of writing down those memories can act as a sort of therapeutic exercise for the public.
People are being asked to divulge their memories by answering three questions: what was your biggest challenge in the past year; what was the biggest lesson you have learned in the past year; and can you think of someone or something you are grateful for over the past 12 months and why?
The collection of people’s written memories will form an archive that will benefit all, but the individual act of writing down memories is also beneficial to the person who takes part, explained Donncha Foley, Manager of Galway Volunteer Centre.
“There’s a lot of science behind this in that there’s a lot of evidence to show that reflecting on the past and learning from it is of great benefit from a mental health perspective and personal development and also the idea of showing gratitude to somebody else has huge mental health benefits as well,” he said.
Mr Foley said what is unique about Covid-19 is that everybody has been impacted by it, and everyone has a memory of it.
“Some changes have been very dramatic for some people, for others maybe not so much but everybody has been affected in some way. There are very few opportunities to meet up and talk about the challenges of the last year, and from a mental health perspective we feel it would be useful for people to use this initiative to think about what’s happened over the last 12 months,” he said.
The project is part of the Keep Well campaign launched by Government and funded through Healthy Ireland and Pobal.
People who respond to the initiative are asked to nominate a local charity or community group and there are two prizes of €500 up for grabs for those organisations if your memories are chosen as the winner.
Submissions will be reviewed by Galway Volunteer Centre and a selection will be published – with permission of the participants – on social media and in the Galway City Tribune.
“We’re hoping that we gather enough so that people can look at other people’s experiences and get their perspectives on the year and see that many people have had the same challenges.
“The phrase that has been used often is that ‘we’re all in this together’ and this is an opportunity to reflect together while still maintaining social distancing,” Mr Foley said.
Applications are available in this week’s Galway City Tribune, and can be returned to Volunteer Galway, 27 William Street West, Galway. To submit your answers online, visit the centre’s website.
The deadline for submissions is March 9, and there is no word count limit – contributions can be long or short. Entrants must include contact details.
(Photo: Donncha Foley of Galway Volunteer Centre)