Officers of both the adult and under-age committees of White’s Cross GAA recently accompanied Cork Senior Ladies Football stalwart Elaine Harte on her visit to Scoil Naomh Micheál, Upper Glanmire.
The former pupil of the school was invited back to celebrate her 2011 heroics with the inter-county side and brought along the winning cup, which has been a familiar sight in Cork in recent years with Cork winning 6 of the last 7 All-Ireland finals. Having seen Dublin deny them six-in-a-row in 2010, this great bunch of girls restored order in 2011 with a spirited win against Monaghan, to bring back the Brendan Martin Cup to Leeside once again. Elaine has been the ever-present goalkeeper for each of these All Ireland successes, and indeed White’s Cross GAA Under-Age Club had a bus-load of supporters at Croke Park to cheer Elaine and the team on in the 2011 final.
Elaine, although now married and living in Tipperary, has continued her allegiance to Cork and has strong affections for her roots in White’s Cross. She recalls fondly her first introductions to competitive football, which occurred when her father Tom, a selector at the time with an under 12 White’s Cross side, had her stand in to make up numbers on a particular match day. So effective was she that Tom decided to buy her a pair of her very own football boots, and the wellington boots she had worn in her first game, were only for splashing puddles again!
White’s Cross GAA Club President, Dermot Whooley and Chairperson Pat O Callaghan, accompanied Elaine on the visit to Upper Glanmire National School, as did Under-Age personnel: Imelda O Connell (Communications & School Liaison Officer), Rupert Aiken (Member of Under 8 Coaching Team) & Teresa Ring (Treasurer).
Pat O Callaghan congratulated Elaine on her successes to date and wished her well for the season ahead. He also spoke of the recent improvements taking place at White’s Cross GAA grounds, much of which is with view to improving amenities for our young members – securing of adjoining grounds for the development of an under-age playing field being one key illustration.
The School Principal Micheál Cremin
welcomed Elaine back to the school, and spoke of their pride of the former pupil. Mr. Cremin thanked White’s Cross GAA for its continued support to the School and talked of the excellent working relationship in place between the School and Club – specifically he mentioned Finbarr Kiely’s great coaching work with the pupils in the School each week. This is out of an initiative that was commenced by White’s Cross GAA over ten years ago whereby the Club finances a coach to the School for weekly GAA coaching sessions with particular classes as determined by the School, and it has continued every year since. White’s Cross GAA has been very fortunate in recent years that Finbarr has agreed to double-up as coach to the adult football and hurling teams as well as taking on this role as coach in UGNS!
Elaine thanked the school for their welcome and the support of so many of these pupils; indeed Elaine picked out this very group of White’s Cross supporters in Croke Park on All Ireland Final day last September and during the lap-of-honour stopped off to thank them for this support. Elaine reminded students of the up-coming White’s Cross GAA Cúl Camp taking place from June 25th to 29th – she had been involved in coaching at this camp for many years prior to taking up residence in Tipperary. Elaine also wished the White’s Cross under 8 & under 10 teams well in their upcoming hurling games, as well as the club’s under 13 footballers who commence their championship in the coming days.
Elaine emphasised the importance of exercise, fresh air and healthy eating and encouraged the kids to keep practising the skills that they learn at their weekly training sessions and later on in the summer at the Cúl Camp.
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