At the South Dublin County School's Cross Country Finals Day in Corkagh Park

CORKAGH Park provided the backdrop to the 2018 South Dublin County School's Cross Country Finals Day recently.

Some 65 buses containing over 3200 participants descended on the Clondalkin venue for the final part of a long campaign for these competitors.

Para Race 1 preparing to race

Indeed, on the run up to the finals day there were 12 regional events held in four venues across the county from February through to April.

In total 72 schools were involved in the programme, with 304 races staged and with 3200 participants taking part each month.

The programme is purely based on participation and fun and provides an excellent opportunity for children of all levels to get involved.

Every child who participated in the race series represents their school at finals day regardless of their placing along the way.

This day is a celebration of the effort that has been made throughout the series. While the event is about participation we do recognise the amazing individual performances of race winners in the local events – these athletes get to run against each other in the champion’s race, and the overall winner of their particular class race, to be crowned as the South Dublin champion for 2018 of their age group.

The Finals Day was staffed by a team of more than 70 South Dublin County Council employees and volunteers, led by the Sports & Recreation Officers Paula Swayne and Alison Casserly and played a huge part in making it such a successful and efficient event.

The support from Civil Defence, South Dublin County Partnership, Tallaght Athletics Club and the Gardaí has been invaluable each month and on the closing day.

A Paralympic Section has been a new addition to the programme over the past three years and this season saw more schools engaging in these races, with the Paralympics section being represented in each area.

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