Wow! What a week in Pearse Óg park. The past couple of months organising and planning we're finally going to be tested this week.
On a bright Monday morning cars filed into Pearse Óg Park from the Ballycrummy road with parents eager to register their kids for the 1st Pearse Óg Summer Camp. Over 150 kids were split into 4 changing rooms, it was only then the coaches got an idea of the daunting task ahead of them for the week. Whistles, timetable, coaching cards at the ready, the young stalwarts entered the green carpet of Pearse Óg Park to embark on a day of fun and games with some football skills squashed in between. Come 2pm there were plenty of exhausted bodies leaving camp, with the coaches surely guessing that the rest of the week couldn't be as mental as that!
I can safely say the BBC weather feed and Barra Best have never had as many hits. For Day 2/Tuesday the parents were informed to prepare their kids for rain.
As the kids returned full of enthusiasm and energy the experience from Monday helped everyone. Kids knew where to go and the coaching team were better prepared for the day ahead.
Unfortunately on Wednesday the weather wasn't as kind. However the constant drizzle and grey skies were not enough to dampen the spirits of everyone within camp. Armed with macs, rain jackets and gloves the kids performed magnificently in the conditions. With no sign of the weather abetting and everyone drenched, to ensure everyone returned on Thursday at full health the parents were contacted to come and collected there kids at lunchtime.
I contacted Barra Best and requested dry weather for the rest of the week and he told me there was showers in the forecast. With the first special guest coach due to make an appearance on Thursday if Wednesday's rain didn't deter the kids a few forecasted showers had no chance. Senior player Conor Clarke took a break from his busy schedule to spend sometime with each of the age groups. He put the older kids through their paces and for every dropped ball the group had to do everyone's favourite exercise - BURPEES.
The u8s and u6 groups experienced Shortys lighter side with plenty of laughs and giggles from everyone.
Friday in camp was scheduled to be a change from the rest of the week. The u6s played a range of different games and the u8s - U12s were challenged on the skills they'd learned all week. Paul Duffy (senior player) and current Armagh/Pearse Óg senior player Anto Duffy paid the kids in camp a visit to participate in some of the fun everyone was having. We knew the kids were competitive but put 2 brothers against each other to lead a group of U6s in a relay race and you will see real competition and determination. Anto and Paul spent all morning and got involved with all the groups, sharing their experience and knowledge. I believe Anto even hit a home run in a game of rounders while Paul proved he's still got it from the penalty spot.
We hope your kids enjoyed camp as much as we enjoyed coaching them. The future is certainly bright for Pearse Óg with many of our current young players displaying a great willingness to learn and improve.
I like to thank the following people for helping to make our camp a great success:
Éamon Clarke - hot sending out the many text messages.
John Óg and Mick Cassidy for their running around and willingness to volunteer for registration morning.
Vinny Brady and Donat Toner for ensuring the pitch was in such great condition.
But without this list of coaches and club U16s showing up daily raring to go and going home shattered our week at camp would never have been as enjoyable.
Adam MurtaghJack Duffy Thanks to Sheena McNally for her hard work to produce the camp t-shirts