REPORT OF THE HONORARY SECRETARY 1998-99
126 years on and intervarsity athletics continues to go from strength to strength. The sporting spirit shown during the 1998/99 season epitomised what intervarsity athletics is all about. In particular, the professional manor in which everyone co-operated to act as time keepers and finishing line judges in Nenagh. After a very successful 125 anniversary season, following on was no easy task and a massive thank you must be extended to NUI-Maynooth, NUI-Galway and Queen’s University of Belfast for organising such excellent championships. The commitment and dedication of IUAA athletes came to the fore again in the Antrim Triangular Meeting, resulting in a win for the IUAA athletes, the first in the seven year history of this event.
The first Intervarstiy Championship of the season was the Road Relay Championships on the 21st November 1998 in the beautiful setting of The National University of Ireland, Maynooth. As usual the event was organised to a very high standard and the IUAA would like to take this opportunity to thank Ian McDonald, Paul Davis, and NUI Maynooth AC. In a thrilling finale Dublin Institute of Technology women hung on to win on the line from University College Dublin to become the first Associate Member to win an Intervarsity Championship. The University Dublin finished third. The Men’s event was won by University College Cork, with University College Dublin successfully fending off the challenge of Queen’s University Belfast to finish second.
The Indoor T & F Championships took place in Nenagh Olympic Stadium on 11th/12th December 1998. For the second year running we were blessed with comparatively mild conditions. Lets hope that with the event being a week earlier this year, weather conditions similar to the previous two years will prevail. With the retirement of Prof. Cyril White as chief starter the President, Prof. Cyril Smyth, took control of the starting pistol. This years championship saw the introduction of the pole vault to the list of events. The Women’s Trophy went to the University of Limerick, with University College Dublin and the University Dublin finishing second and third respectively. The men’s trophy also went to the University of Limerick with University College Dublin and the University Dublin finishing second and third respectively. This is the only Intervarsity competition hosted by the IUAA and it puts huge strain on our ‘manpower’ to be able to provide officials, etc. in order to ensure the smooth running of the event. This years event was made even more difficult by the lack of electronic timing and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who helped with timing and the placing of athletes. Without your help the championships would not have been as successful as they were. I would also like to point out that this oversight, regarding electronic timing, by the IUAA executive will not happen again in the foreseeable future. Again the IUAA executive is indebted to those people who offered their services during the competition and looks forward to continued support and co-operation from all participants at this years Indoor Championship.
The Cross Country Championships took place in the National University of Ireland-Galway’s playing fields on 6th March 1999. The course provided an interesting mixture of grass, mud and gravel. University College Dublin won the Women’s Race, with the University Dublin and the University of Limerick finishing second and third respectively . University College Cork won the men’s race with University College Dublin and the National University of Ireland - Galway finishing second and third respectively. Under the new scoring system for the combined ‘Badger’ trophy University College Dublin came out winners with University College Cork and the National University of Ireland - Galway finishing second and third respectively. The IUAA executive Committee would like to thank NUI-Galway for the excellent work they did in hosting these Championships.
The Outdoor Track & Field Championships were hosted by Queen’s University Belfast at the Mary Peters Track in Belfast on 23rd/24th April 1999. The Women’s Trophy was won by the University College Dublin with the University of Limerick and the University of Ulster finishing second and third respectively. The men’s Trophy was won by the University of Limerick with University College Dublin and Queen’s University Belfast finishing second and third respectively. The combined trophy went to University College Dublin with the University of Limerick and the University Dublin finishing second and third respectively. This was yet another excellently organised Championships, and was much appreciated by the IUAA Executive Committee. This years championships also incorporated the combined Events Championships into the timetable. The idea behind this was to help increase numbers, which had fallen off in recent years. The team event was won by the University of Limerick, with the University Dublin finishing second. In its present format the future of this event looks secure.
The annual International Triangular Track & Field meeting between the Irish and Scottish Universities and the Northern Ireland. U23’s took place in The Antrim Forum on 22nd June 1999. Ian O’Sullivan of UCC and Juilet Claffey of UL were the Captains. The pouring rain was not going to dampen IUAA performances. With most athletes doubling up the IUAA finished a close second in the women’s, won the men’s competition and for the first time won the overall trophy. This is a very well organised event and it was good to see so many IUAA athletes competing and supporting their team colleagues, and most importantly, having a good time.
The twentieth World Student Track & Field Games took place in Palma de Mallorca from 8 - 13 July 1999. The athletics team manager and coach was Ray Shanahan. Drew Harrison was assistant manager and coach and Cyril Smyth was the Assistant Chef de Mission. With the above mentioned people already being actively involved in University Athletics non of the problems that marred the selection procedure for the World Student Cross Country Championships, in the previous year, arose. The dedication and commitment shown by the above mentioned people was second to non and was greatly appreciated by the athletes. A total of fourteen Irish athletes attended the championships, of which six currently compete in the IUAA championships. The most notable performance probably being that of Karen Shinkins, who lowered her own 400m National Record twice during the course of the championships.
The IUAA AGM was held on the 31st October 1998 in Dublin City University. The IUAA executive met again prior to the Maynooth Road Relay Championships and after the Captains meeting at the Cross Country Championships. The executive also met on 21st May 1999 in Trinity. The executive is in constant communication throughout the year by both email and telephone. In general attendance at the Captain’s meetings was good, having said that I would encourage every club to attend as important decisions are made at these meetings.
The IUAA web site has been up and running for a year now. Features include race results, both recent and archive, fixture dates, contact information and lots more.
I would like to thank all the clubs for their help and suggestions through out the year and with your continued support the IUAA will continue to go from strength to strength.
Yours in sport,
(Hon. Secretary IUAA)