Can I just start by acknowledging the passing of our Honorary President, Danny Ferguson.  What a great character Danny was, he’ll be sadly missed around the club. Also to all club members who have lost loved ones through these times and those of you who continued to work for, and with the club in their difficult time, on behalf of the club I would like to offer our condolences and say thank you to each one of you.

I suppose one of the most common phrases used at the moment is “Strange Times,” and the fact that we can’t do the simple things like coming together is probably the hardest and most frustrating of all, just like this evening. As Fiona pointed out we had almost a full year of restrictions and lockdowns, but what a year we made of it! This is what really excites me and gives me great pride and hope, while we virtually lost all competitions and then our ability to even train together, we never lost our spirit. In fact I believe it grew stronger. You, as members, showed the clubs ability to adapt and evolve in difficult times. It was the never give up attitude that made all those events happen through the year. It was when we were told you can’t do that, and the attitude was, well we’ll do it another way or we’ll do something completely different, but we’ll do something.

I believe that through these lockdowns we have learnt a lot about ourselves as a club, how we come together with ideas, plan them and then deliver them. I think the club is in a very envious position right now, with all the talented members in different areas, the care and passion shown for each and every member, from the youngest to the oldest and making sure everyone is involved in everything we do as one. Don’t forget it was you all as club members that our county board   had so much praise for  because of the work the club was doing though the past year. What a great compliment to receive, and all the credit is to you all!!

I feel for our coaches, they worked hard at getting a structure in place for training and had it working really well, with such a buzz around the track only to see it all stopped. But I know the ideas are still there and the passion and determination to see it through. I have every confidence they can pick up where they left off and have our athletes primed and ready when competitions resume. We can’t applaud our coaches enough for the time and work they put into training our athletes. A huge thank you to each and every one of them.

I want to pay tribute to all our committee members for their tireless work throughout the year. I can’t emphasis enough the commitment and effort they put in to keeping the club operating so well. To our county board delegates, Dermot, Sharon and now also Fiona, congratulations on taking on a new position on the board. It’s great to see Glenmore having such an active role on our county board. I just want to mention our secretary Fiona again for the flawless work she does, and to thank her for her help and support through this year.

I have to say taking over the Chairperson role from Rose was a daunting task. I think we all know the amazing job Rose has done in her term, she most definitely brought the club forward and raised the standard in all areas. I want to thank Rose personally for the huge support she’s given me through the year, and thank her for her continued work for the club.

In taking on the role as Chairman, I never imagined the year would turn out  as it did. But can I say it was an absolute honour to serve, and  whatever role I play for the club in the future, I will do to  the best of my ability and will put the clubs interest first and for most.

You know we have a terrific bunch of juveniles and they are definitely the heart beat of the club. The year they’ve had to deal with was pretty miserable, but what a spirit they showed and took on all the challenges we put to them, what a brilliant bunch, and credit to those who helped out with the technical end of things when called on. Hold your heads up high and be very proud of yourselves .Well done.

Finally, the feel of spring is in the air, the birds are singing and the days are getting longer. I think there’s going to be an explosion of energy and excitement pretty soon. I’m really looking forward to getting everyone back together and doing what we do best. Maybe we could start with a CLUB HUG!! when it’s safe to do so….that’s one to think about!!

Thank you

go raibh maith agat.