The century old achievements of the Mayo Olympian Martin Sheridan have been celebrated on track and field at IT Sligo.
First year undergraduates in Bachelor of Business Recreation and Leisure put lecture-room theory into practice when they organised this year’s keenly fought College Races for the Martin Sheridan Perpetual Trophy.
Eighteen teams of three females and three males representing schools, community groups and staff and students at the Institute, stretched muscle and sinew in their efforts to capture the trophy, which commemorates the Bohola athlete who won nine Olympic medals at the turn of the last century.
The weather was showery but the sun certainly shone on St Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim. After sprint, middle distance and relay races as well as shot putt, long jump and javelin events, St Clare teams notched up impressive points scores, winning the trophy in1st place and also coming 3rd.
One of the stand-out performances came from the winning team’s Denise Callinan, won both the long jump and 100m.
IT Sligo Athletics Club was runner-up, with a team of international students from IT Sligo in 4th place and a team from the Institute’s Recreation and Leisure programme 5th.
The student organisers staged the event under the guiding hand of their lecturer Kerry Larkin.
Kerry said: “Having to organise an event like the College Races is a great challenge, and the students did it so well. It’s an opportunity to put into action what they learn on the degree course and it’s a hands-on demonstration of the need for successful teamwork.
“Very importantly, too, the students get a flavour of the behind the scenes work that goes into even bigger events. Sport, recreation and leisure is a massive international industry in which some of students might one day make their careers.”
Martin Sheridan left Mayo in 1888 aged 16 and emigrated to America where he joined the New York Police Department. He signed up in the local athletics club and quickly became a fine athlete, winning many American gold medals in discus-throwing and other events.
His Olympic medal tally included three at the Games in London in 1908 where he set an Olympic record of 40.89 meters (134.2 feet).
Year 1 Recreation and Leisure student organisers take their work seriously as they conduct the registration of athletes at the College Races.
The victorious team from St Clare’s Comprehensive School, Manorhamilton, Co Leitrim — Ava Murray and Denise Callinan with the Martin Sheridan Perpetual Cup, and team-mates (left to right) Alan McSharry, Jack Cavaliero, Brian Shannon and Mary Broughton.
“They wish!” – Year 4 Recreation and Leisure students Colleen McHugh and Kim Flood took part in the College races.