Sunday will see the first day of the new Indoor League programme, the objective of which is to provide Irish athletes with more competition on their home soil in the top class AIT International Arena, Athlone.
This is a club based competition which will take place over three rounds. Events will be divided over the first two rounds with three track events and two to three field per day. The final round will cover all events. Teams will be male and female and clubs can enter two teams into each of these categories. The top six clubs, based on a scoring system will compete in the Final.
Athletes who may not have a sizeable enough club to compete in the Leagues will also be catered for with an opportunity to compete in individual events in the opening rounds and with the top 6 to 8 athletes overall (depending on event) being invited to compete on the final day of the Leagues.
The National Club Indoor League rounds will take place on the 5th of January, the22nd of February and the Final on 16th of March.
Georgina Drumm, Chair of Competition commented: “We are excited about delivering this new competition initiative for our athletes; there will be learnings of course as we roll it out but we will endeavour to provide a quality programme”
The female teams entered are: St. Abbans A.C, Le Cheile A.C., Menapians A.C., Craughwell A.C., Raheny Shamrock A.C., Limerick A.C. and Leevale A.C.
The male teams entered are: Kilkenny City Harriers A.C., St. Abbans A.C., Le Cheile A.C., Menapians A.C., Crusaders A.C., Craughwell A.C., Raheny Shamrock A.C., Limerick A.C., Leevale A.C.
The Athletics Ireland competition committee also hosted a meeting recently regarding the National League following inputs from membership regarding key changes that they would like to see implemented. The meeting was open to all clubs who partake in the League.
The main discussions centred on the date of the League. The League has historically taken place on the second weekend in August. The committee has now committed to holding the event closer to the National Track and Field championships.
This will ensure that seasons aren’t pro-longed for club athletes’ many of whose seasons start as earlier as April with School and Intervarsity championships. The date for 2014 is Sunday the 2nd of August, two weeks after the National Senior Track and Field Championships.
Following in-depth discussion it was decided to keep the current format of two rounds followed by a final with separate men’s and women’s team. There were some other ideas which were aired which further detail will be provided in the coming months.
Drumm committee said “It was a very useful meeting, all who attended were in agreement that the Leagues is a fundamental worthwhile competition”