Above: Mair was presented with her shirt by Councillor Collins on behalf of the ITTA.
Goleen was celebrating once again with the success of one of its own with local girl Mair Kelly who received a call up to represent Ireland at the International Senior Schools in Cardiff at the end of June. Mair is currently West Cork No.1 and a member of the Goleen Table Tennis Club, which is based in their local community centre. Fifteen-year-old Mair is very aware that it is only with local support that she is able to compete at national level and attributes her success to a number of factors including having access to one of the best training centres in Ireland.
Goleen has developed a reputation as a centre for excellence on a regional and national level and a number of coach education courses have been run at the club over the last couple of years.
With the support of the local community council and funding from various bodies including the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, club members have been awarded five Irish, nine Munster and two Munster Special Olympic selections.
Club Coach Owen Kelly is an ITTA Level 3 Coach and is one of the most experienced and qualified coaches in the country having travelled all over Europe as well as China, considered the centre of World Table Tennis. “Chairman of the Goleen and District Community Council Michael Collins has been a major driving force in supporting the efforts of our local club and without his and the rest of the local community councillors we would not be able to provide what is necessary for our players they would simply not be able to compete on the National and International stage,” said Mr Kelly.
Councillor Collins went on to say “We should be proud of what can be achieved by our local kids if they are to be given an opportunity and it is our challenge to continue to nurture the talent we have in all areas of West Cork. If we can identify the talent and skills out there and encourage both these groups and individuals it is quite remarkable what can be accomplished. Who would have expected a table tennis club in Goleen to attract players from Tralee, Killarney, Tipperary and Cork City?”
Mair who was presented with her shirt by Councillor Collins on behalf of the ITTA thanked Michael, her coach Owen, the Principal and staff of Schull Community College and her equipment sponsor Celtic Table Tennis for all their continued support throughout the year.