To the Finn Valley Athletics Club
On behalf of the IAAF I would like to extend our sincerest gratitude to the coaches and athletes of the Finn Valley Athletics Club wo acted as kit carriers for the athletes during the recent IAAF World Championships London 2017.
The birth and development of Finn Valley Athletics Club, coinciding as it did with my own running career in the 1970’s, has long been an interest of mine.
Developing as it has from small rural beginnings of a field for athletes to run around in training to the world class track, club house, indoor facilities and swimming pool is a great testament to the vision and hard work of so many volunteers without whom Athletics could not exist.
As you may remember, the slogan from the London 2012 Olympic Games was “Inspire a Generation” while the slogan for London 2017 World Championships was “ Be the Next” and I have no doubt that the members of Finn Valley who volunteered their time and expertise at London 2017, namely Dermot, Sharon, Abbie, Adam, Aine, Arlene, Caitlin, Carra, Eoghan, Hannah, Laura, Michael, Oisin and Sarah, will be suitably inspired to maintain their involvement in athletics for the rest of their lives.
On a personal level, I was aware that London 2017 marked the final chapter of the club Chairman Patsy McGonagle’s successful stint as the Irish Athletics Team Manager.
I will always have fond memories of meeting Patsy with a smile and the look of a man on a mission during the 6 World Championships he manged the Irish team and not to forget the 4 Olympic Games he did likewise.
His passion for athletics is a source of inspiration to everyone around him and it is very fitting that the track at Finn Valley has been named in his honour.
I wish Finn Valley the best of luck and success for the next chapters in your glorious history and look forward to following your continued progress with interest.