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GMIT Castlebar Host Major National Sports Events
By nigel jennings
27, Feb 2009 - 12:05

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GMIT Host two major national student sports events

The coming week looks like being a busy one for the students of GMIT Castlebar as they prepare to host the Intervarsity tournaments for both Women’s Soccer & Windsurfing. The events will see the very best talent in third level come to mayo to fight it out for the title within their respective sports.

Massive work has gone into the preparations, firstly to secure the prestigious events and secondly to make sure that all the behind the scenes work that goes into the smooth running of a multi day competition has taken place.

It is a great honour for GMIT Castlebar to be chosen to host these events and indeed it is a major boost to the locality with 12 teams involved in the Women’s soccer event staying in Castlebar from Wednesday 4th until Sunday 8th and up to 180 people expected to converge on Achill from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th for the windsurfing.

Women’s soccer

The competition for the WSCAI soccer crown will be intense with UL, DCU, Garda College, IT Sligo, UCD, University of Ulster Jordanstown, IT Tralee, UCC , Cork college of Further Ed, Athlone IT and NUIG Galway joining GMIT in what is an extremely tough format. With 4 groups of 3 each team will play two 80 minute games between Thursday morning & Friday morning. The top 8 teams will them progress to Tournament semi finals and “Plate” semi’s on Friday afternoon. With those making it to the ultimate stage on Saturday will have played four-80 minute games in little over 48 hours  with the possibility of extra time in semi’s & finals (fancy chance of the highly paid premiership stars matching that workload!)

GMIT have been pitted against the might of UCD and the team who have been the dominant force in women’s soccer over recent years IT SLIGO; a tough task but one they won’t shy away form and Coach Louise Mulready will have them perfectly prepared for the task ahead.

To give an indication of the standard of football you can expect, the Irish team for the world student games, (being held in Belgrade this summer) will be selected from the players on display. Two years ago in Bangok the Irish team were beaten on penalties by Russia in the semi-final! If you are a fan of soccer do yourself a favour and try to take in some of the games. The full schedule is listed below and the organising committee would like to thank the local clubs who have generously allowed us use of their facilities, schedules are liable to be altered due to weather conditions. They would also like to thank the Mayo League for giving the showpiece final game the stage it deserves in Milebush.

Group A  all ST mary’s

Thu 11.00 GMIT V IT SLIGO - Thu 15.00 ST Mary’s UCD V IT SLIGO  - Fri  11.00 GMIT V UCD

Group B

Thu 11.00 Garda V AIT  (manulla - thu 15.00 UCC V Garda Breaffy House -  fri 11.00 ait v UCC –Celtic Park

Group C

Thu 11.00 NUIG V CCFE Snugboro-  thu 15.00 UUJ V NUIG Ballyvary - fri 11.00 CCFE V UUJ- Breaffy house

Group D

Thu 11.00 UL V IT Tralee Breaffy house- thu 15.00 DCU V UL  Manulla  fri 11.00 IT Tralee V DCU Snugboro

Plate semi’s  Friday 3.00– St Mary’s & Breaffy

Semi’s Friday  3.00 Celtic & Manulla

Plate Final – Saturday 11.00 ST Mary’s

Final Saturday 2.00 Milebush



There is a different slant to the windsurfing event and while the best talent in the country will undoubtedly be on display the weekend caters for all levels from beginner to improver to elite. (With Gold, Silver & Bronze Fleets). The competition is open to all colleges (unlike the soccer you do not have to pre qualify) and as well as the competitive element there will be clinics and workshops from some of Ireland best windsurfing instructors – Gareth Allen (Windwise), Cathal Usher ( go play windsurfing) and Dave Garvey (DMG).

This event is taking place in Achill, the majority of the racing as well as the clinics on the lake at Keel, while there will be a Wave Jam (the spectacular bit!!) out in the surf on the beach at Keel. The Red Bull team will be supporting the event and as well as providing music from their mobile road show and helping the atmosphere along during the event, one of their professional windsurfers is due to give a demonstration on the Saturday.

GMIT Castlebar as well as hosting the event will be hoping to match their excellent performance last year when Mick Byrne won the Silver Fleet and Daniel Kealy came second in the gold Fleet. While Daniel has finished his studies Mick will be pushing hard for glory this time around along with several of his teammates who have been training hard right through the winter.

This promises to be an incredible weekend and as well as for those taking part it should be quite a spectacle for anyone wanting to see what  an event of this nature involves. The majority of the clinics demo’s and wave Jams will take place throughout the day on Saturday while Sunday will see the concluding stages of the competitive elements but anyone interested is encouraged to drop by at any stage.

Good luck to all involved in both competitions and we are sure that, regardless of the outcome of their endeavours they will all leave with fond memories of great events and a great time spent in Ma

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