Five young Limerick hurling fanatics went to school on a high this week after enjoying a once in a lifetime opportunity to train with All Ireland winning legend Cian Lynch. Nine year old Rory McCarthy, from Cappamore was entered into Limerick City and County Council’s 50 Days of Summer competition by his mum Miriam which saw him win a VIP training session for himself and some lucky friends.
Rory, who attends Bilboa National School, brought big sister Aoife (11), little brother Eoin (5) and school friends Rebecca O’Leary (11) and Joshua Byrne (10) along to meet the All Star Patrickswell hurler at the LIT Páirc na nGael grounds at the weekend for what Rory’s mum says was ‘an unforgettable experience’.
“It was a lovely prize and they all really, really valued it, they’re talking about it non-stop since!” said Miriam McCarthy. “They go to GAA Cúl Camp every year and love hurling but to get a personalised session from Cian was very special. They are very inspired since and learnt lots from Cian, some of their pals can’t quite believe that they won such a great prize!"
Junior Infant Eoin has just started hurling with the under 6s in Cappamore but was Cian’s right hand man on the day helping him with tips and tricks and judging frees and goals.
Cian spent time with each of the five Cappamore young sports stars, giving them an action packed and fun filled afternoon as well as an insight into different aspects of the game.
Continued Miriam: “Cian signed sliotars at the end and even Rory’s special hurley which already features many of the signatories of the 2018 Limerick All-Ireland winning team, as well as giving him one of his own training jerseys, so he’s delighted.
“Cian is such a role model, we’re so lucky to have had the opportunity to meet him. He was also great, particularly with the girls, listing out outstanding camogie players from Cappamore so they are totally inspired and looking forward to continuing to play.”
The personalised session with Cian Lynch was one of 50 prizes offered by Limerick City and County Council for its Limerick 50 Days of Summer tourism campaign which drew to a close last month. The competition saw 50 people each win a unique Limerick experience over five weeks, with ten in total won each week.
More than 84,000 entries were received for the competition with the majority of them from outside Limerick (54.7%) with Dublin, Cork, Kerry, Clare, Galway, Tipperary and Kildare the most popular counties after Limerick. Entrants from the USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Australia, Dubai and Canada were also received.
“Prizewinners for the competition were chosen at random but we were all really hoping that someone from Limerick would win the experience with Cian Lynch and we were delighted that Rory and his friends were the winners and enjoyed it so much,” said Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications, Limerick City and County Council. “Thanks to Limerick GAA and Cian for making it happen and to Rory and his family and friends for being such great sports, who knows they may end up being future All Stars for Limerick.”