Happy Christmas & New Year!
Dear Club Members & Parents, We approach the end of possibly one of the strangest years we’ve all experienced in our lifetimes. Yet, despite all the challenges of 2021, sport has prevailed and has returned to some level of normality. As parents we have continued to commit to the importance of sport for our children’s wellbeing. Interestingly, Ireland has one of the highest rates in the world for under-18s participating in sport. Supporting our children in sport is something we see as hugely important to the essence of our task. It reminds us that the sports clubs our children are involved in are for the most part organised by parents like ourselves, so we help out when we can. It is not an accident that DSDAC has mostly parents on its Club Board, the Saint Thomas project, Club Coaching, Child Welfare, Operations Organisation and in helping our Club races take place. The remaining volunteer and organising is predominantly done by Senior Athletes & the Club’s Adult Meet & Train Group. These people are typically involved in organising the Senior Club activities, Coaching, Communications & Fundraising through DSD Events comprising the Women’s Mini Marathon and the Sandyford 5K. In recent years the development of the Saint Thomas Sporting facility has been a huge undertaking requiring considerable effort by a very dedicated and focused group of parents, former athletes & Meet & Trainers. To these 6, and they know who they are, the Club will be forever indebted. Our Coaches, key to the Club’s success, are out in all weathers, week after week, always there, always encouraging, driving, pushing, supporting the talent wishing to develop their skills. They attend their athletes’ races, write and publish the race reports, organise the teams and individuals to race. Many hands make light work, and indeed it takes a considerable effort to run a volunteer athletics club where everyone provides their time freely for the betterment of our sport. Being one of Ireland’s most competitive clubs means there is lots to do, and many hands are needed to make the DSDAC wheel turn successfully. In years past the Club has done things like organising a Volunteer Lunch and other initiatives to thank those who’ve significantly assisted during the year. This year, on behalf of the Club’s Board of Directors, two simple words are what we propose, and they are: THANK YOU. 2022 promises to be an historic year for Dundrum South Dublin Athletic Club with the planned opening of our 400mt track on our lands at the Saint Thomas estate, Tibradden Road. Yet land is not the most important asset the Club has; the most important asset DSD has is its Lead Coaches in each group, for without them we cannot be developing talent, or be competitive, or be focused to remain one of Ireland’s top athletics clubs. Each group has a Lead Coach who sets the tone, approach and direction for the group. A titan retired this year after 49 years: Liz McDonagh, who has inspired, supported and developed so many athletes during her volunteer coaching career with all of those years in DSDAC. A drudgery? No, she’ll tell you, she’s gotten more out of it as any of her athletes ever did. The focus of our entire effort and affections: the Athletes. We all say to you: each and every one of you makes us so proud to be part of the great athletic tradition of DSDAC and we marvel at the success you all bring to the Club and we are here to support you in achieving your athletic goals. Two simple words for our athletes: DRIVE ON. Have a very happy and peaceful Christmas. Declan Ryan, Chairman DSDAC.