A WOW! Weekend for DSD

Wow! What a weekend for DSD! While the normal weekend training took place this past weekend, with our coaches and athletes braving the windy and damp conditions, a number of things happened that, together, make this a weekend to remember, and to celebrate – big time! On Friday evening Greg Allen of RTE Sport fame presented Part I of the Athletics Ireland Awards. What a delight when we learned that our DSD President Lucy Moore won the Services to Coaching Award. As a long-serving and dedicated coach, Lucy has seen so many of her athletes perform on the world stage, with champions David Gillick and Deirdre Ryan among them. Lucy’s contribution to athletics in Ireland has been massive. Then on Saturday, DSD’s Kate Doherty performed for Ireland by rocketing through the 60 metres hurdles to clinch a PB of 8:25 seconds and get the silver Medal at the DNA Indoor International Meet in Glasgow. An amazing achievement in a top-class field, with Spanish Olympian Teresa Errandonea pipping her on the line by 0.3 of a second. A pretty good weekend for DSD! But there was more to come! Only a few hours after Kate’s blistering performance, Greg Allen, doing Part II of the Athletics Ireland Awards, whipped out a golden envelope to reveal DSD as the Athletics Ireland Performance Club of the Year! A massive achievement for the Club! On accepting the award on behalf of the Club, Ed Carthy paid tribute to the athletes who got us the vital wins, the coaches and the myriad of volunteers behind the scenes who keep the DSD machine humming. At this stage DSD was buzzing! But, hey, Sunday had yet to come. And indeed, it did. Just after midday, Hiko Tonosa, Paul O’Donnell, Emmet Jennings and Matt Bergin, armed with the DSD singlet, kicked off in the 10K cross country race for the European Champion Clubs Cup Cross Country in Oeiras, Portugal. In a massively competitive field, Hiko fought his way to grab third place in a time of 29:51, with Paul, Emmet and Matt following in 36th, 37th and 77th positions respectively, out of 113 finishers to give DSD an overall 9th place. See Eddie McDonagh's report on Portugal here. One thing is for sure: DSD's Seniors Endurance is on fire! On Saturday Ciara Wilson-Bowen participated in the England Athletics Winter Race Walking Championships held at the National Endurance Centre in Leeds. In the 5K walk race, she posted a fabulous new PB of 28:16.80, knocking a massive 71 seconds off her previous best despite the challenging weather conditions. Meanwhile David Dagg won the Leinster Athletics Indoor Heptathlon in Athlone. It was a busy weekend for David, and he secured a PB in the 60m and equalled his PB in the long jump. In flying form! Congratulations to Lucy, Kate, Hiko, Paul, Emmet, Matt, Ciara and David with those impressive achievements and performances. And a huge thanks to all who have put their shoulder to the wheel in 2021: the relentless meetings on Zoom, the coaching in difficult Covid restriction-laden conditions, and the athletes who kept training hard despite all the challenges. This collective effort has paid off with the fantastic accolade of Performance Club of the Year. And while all the above grabbed our attention, DSD's ongoing dominance as a competitive force was being secured with our U15 to U19 Juveniles returning to the Dublin Indoor Championships after a two year break. A hugely successful weekend with plenty of medals and tons of PBs. DSD had athletes competing for their first time and thoroughly enjoyed the occasion. We cheered on athletes with great performances in their heats and athletes getting through to many finals. Well done to all athletes, coaches, volunteers and parents. See Liz McDonagh's report here. Once again - congrats to all. What a weekend!