The first ever Limerick second level schools cricket championship, the Carleon Cup, has reflected not just the green shoots of the sport in the city but the rich cultural diversity of Limerick today, organisers have stated.
Coláiste Mhichíl (Sexton Street), a school with a strong sporting tradition, will be officially recorded as the winners of the inaugural Carelon Cup, having defeated their second team in the final.
But each of the six teams across the five schools that set out in February to compete in the championship all made their own special contribution to this special tournament.
After competitive ‘Conference’ rounds, which ran since February, all five schools – Mungret Community College, Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Villiers, Thomond Community College and Coláiste Mhichíl – gathered at The Factory Southside Youthspace for the final round of the blitz sponsored by Carelon Global Solutions Ireland, which has its Innovation Centre based at the National Technology Park in Castletroy.
The indoor blitz saw 'Coláiste Mhichíl A' presented with the title after defeating the school's second team by 18 runs after both topped their respective Conferences to make it to the final. The shield final saw Crescent College Comprehensive defeat Mungret Community College by 14 runs.
However, the real success, organizer and Limerick Cricket PRO Stephen Hackett said, was the staging of the competition in the first instance.
"The final was a lovely moment for cricket in Limerick but, moreover, a great reflection of the diversity that we have in Limerick today, a city that is making itself a home for so many different nationalities and also celebrating their favourite sports like cricket."
The Mungret Community College teacher said, however, that cricket's appeal goes beyond families who have come to Ireland from cricket-playing nations. "It's fair to say that the majority of children, who are proud to say they are from Limerick, are from families whose parents came here from parts of the world where cricket is the number one sport, countries such as India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. We also have a smaller number from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal".
"But we also have a growing number of players from generational Irish families. That's the real promise; all these nationalities come together to play a sport they all enjoy. This happens in other sports but ones that are typically well established here. But we are finally beginning to see green cricket shoots that are boding well for the future of the sport here and the Carelon Cup is one of them."
Said John Patrick Shaw, Ireland Head for Carelon: "We currently have 180 associates in Carelon with 30 different nationalities. We see Limerick as a great home for an organization with the diversity we have, so we're delighted to put our name behind a competition that speaks to inclusiveness."
Carelon Global Solutions Ireland’s operations develop services and processes that will help identify individual and wider public health interventions to enable people to live healthier and longer lives, as well as identify efficiency gains in healthcare provision. The company, just 18 months after its launch, employs 180 people drawn from 30 nationalities.