Congratulations and many thanks to all of the coaches, parents and volunteers who contributed to the running of the recent Joe Moran Festival at Forenaughts. It’s hard to be precise but it seems plausible to assume that there were the bones of 1,000 people on site when you consider that there were 400 players, parents, coaches, siblings and relatives at the festival. The weather obviously played its part with excellent pitch conditions, perfect temperatures and a plentiful supply of sunshine during the course of the event.
Many thanks to all of the parents who contributed sandwiches, buns, cakes, cocktail sausages, drinks, etc.... I think we can safely say that the Naas hospitality on the day was top-drawer and nobody went home hungry. Special thanks to Emma Buckley, Sandra Stanley and Una Madden for organizing the food area in the clubhouse. Well done also to Jo Bolger and her team for managing the Teas & Coffees and thanks to Jim Whittaker, Ger Carroll, Alex Raben and Karl Carter for running the car park. This was the bit that gave us all nightmares before the event and the guys did an outstanding job managing a huge volume of traffic both on and off site. David and Barry helped out at the start of the day too so there was plenty of support in that department. Thanks to Phil Kiely for supplying and erecting the Tent.
Kevin Cleary, Tommy O’Sullivan, Neil McGarry, Chris Nugent and Jim Whittaker (double jobbing) managed the pitches right throughout the day. Obviously you can’t run an event without referees and we were very lucky to have the support of our fellow coaches from right across the various age groups including Joe Jones, Paul Kenny, Ed Wynne, Willie Downey, David McKeown, Michael Cahill, Joe Osborne and Wayne Greene - thanks guys.
Alan Kavannagh, Eoin Corcoran and Paul Doyle ran the three Naas teams at the event and did an outstanding job of ensuring that all of our players got plenty of game time.
Access to a proper sound system is one of the keys to an event like this. Graham Lowen (Eurotek) supplied the system. Graham was on site before 9am to set everything up and he was also the last man off site at the close of the day - thank you Graham for your enormous contribution. Alan Kavannagh got through a whole host of tasks in the days and weeks leading up to the event and of course at the event itself. Critically, Alan secured generous sponsorship support from the following organisations: Oltech Systems, Lyons O’Connell, Warren & Partners, Chronicle Contract Interiors, Blue Hat Design. Many thanks to all of these companies for their kind support and to Eoin who secured support of Coca Cola. Thanks also to David Mckeown for his help and advice during the planning and preparations for the event.
By far the largest task and the one that went almost totally unseen was the process of recruiting teams to participate in the event. It would have been all too easy to simply invite our neighboring teams and then add a few more teams to fill in the gaps. However, the tradition of the Joe Moran Festival is to broaden the net and involve clubs from outside our immediate area. The outcome was there for all to see: Twenty two visiting teams from all four provinces. Many of these clubs had never met on the Rugby pitch before and there was no doubt that the variety added an extra dimension to the whole event. Of course this didn’t happen by accident and it was a direct result of an outstanding contribution from Eoin Corcoran over the 4 to 5 weeks preceding the event. Eoin put in a huge effort contacting clubs from all over Ireland with countless phone calls, emails, follow up mails, follow up calls, etc. It was an enormous effort and the turnout on the day was a testament to this hard work.
With so many involved, it’s hard to remember the names of all of the folks who made a contribution so congratulations and thank you to all of the players, parents, coaches and other club officials who helped make the 2011 Joe Moran Festival such a big success.
Twenty Two Teams turn out at Forenaughts for Joe Moran Festival of Rugby
Naas U11s with Coach Eoin Corcoran at Joe Moran Festival of Rugby