Castletownbere and Bere Island’s Molly Meleady-Hanley has won an all-rounder scholarship to one of the UK’s top boarding schools – Mount St Mary’s College. The scholarship is for her athletics, musical and academia excellence and potential.
Eleven-year-old Molly has had a triumphant year in athletics. She was placed first U-11 and first U-12 in every one of the 24 races she participated in this year.
Molly’s coaches are John Dowling from Waterford (holder of the World Record in multiple long distance International race walking events) and Brian Adams (Olympian and Team GB Athletics Coach).
“The performance that has caught the eye the most was Molly Meleady- Hanley, her technique and rhythm was far superior to anyone else in the races and her determination took her to a 40-second improvement, several Olympic judges were full of praise for her,” says Brian.
Although being the youngest athlete competing in this year’s UK National Indoor Race Walking Championship, Molly came in as the first Under 13 while still only ten years of age.
On the 2014 UK and International Race Walking circuit, she has been placed in the top four in every other Under 13’s race, competing against national and international athletes much older than herself.
She also won the UK Primary School Race Walking Championships, coming first in every heat to take the Number 1 spot in the finals.
“Molly is an exceptional talent and greatly deserves all she has achieved, as she gives of herself 200 per cent in everything she does. She does so, not in any harsh competitive way, but in pursuit of merely doing the very best she can. She is a warm-hearted child and great fun to be with and is very popular on the national and international circuits. Molly is a credit to West Cork and Ireland,” says her proud coach John Dowling.
Molly also took part in the British Grand Prix of Race Walking in June 2014, which included international athletes of all ages. Athletes joined the field from as far as Australia, New Zealand and Canada and the event also incorporated the Irish National Senior Championships over 20km. Molly was the youngest competitor – having turned 11 at the end of April.