National Sports Campus, Abbotstown.
27th October 2013
56 athletes from all over Ireland and visiting athletes from the UK and representatives from the British Army Pentathlon team.
Pentathlon Ireland (PI) is the National Governing Body for the Olympic sport of Modern Pentathlon which is made up of five disciplines; fencing, swimming show jumping running and shooting. PI (formerly the Modern Pentathlon Association of Ireland) was established in 2003.
First National Championships hosted in 2005.
With five sports to include in a one day, event organisation was key to a successful competition. Preparations began 4 months prior to the event with volunteers working tirelessly in the build up to the competition day.
(all photos by: Mel Doyle, www.meldoyle.ie)
National Aquatics Centre (Swimming), National Horse Sport Arena (Show Jumping) and the National Modern Pentathlon Centre (Fencing, Shooting and running). The Carlton Hotel Blanchardstown (Presentation Evening).
Competition Director: David Lowe
Swim Director: Peta Scott
Riding Director: Carolyn Lanigan-O’Keeffe
Fencing Director: LT Hugh Ford
Shooting Director: Jim Bailey
Running Director: Paul Madden
Results Team: John Woodbridge (Sculptor results) with Heidi Haenschke, Louise Quinn, Ena Coleman and Ena Collins
Presentation Evening: Louise Quinn
Secretary: Karen Kelly
Plus an additional 20 volunteers on the day to help the smooth running of all the disciplines.
HOW THE EVENT WAS STRUCTURED
The event was run as close to possible as a normal international event with all phases being completed in the one day. The competition was run across all age groups from Masters to Youth E (8-10yrs) with our youngest competitors just 8 years old.
All age groups started with the swimming at the NAC. The competitors then split according to age groups with the older group completing their show jumping rounds whilst the younger age groups contested the fencing discipline. On conclusion, these groups swapped venues and contested their fencing and riding events to leave just the combined run/shoot event to determine the final placings for the National Titles. In Pentathlon, your points from your performances in the swim, fence and ride disciplines determine the handicapped start order for the final run/shoot event. This means that the leader of the competition begins on the starters gun with other athletes following at timed intervals according to their points deficit. This means the athletes to cross the finish line at the end of the combined run/shoot is the overall winner of the whole day’s competition. This lead to some fantastic finishes especially in the Youth B Boys category (15-16yrs).
Pentathlon Ireland organised a presentation evening with guest speaker; Kate Allenby MBE and Olympic bronze medallist from Sydney 2000 who presented the medals.
WHERE NEXT FOR THE IRISH TEAM
Traditionally the international pentathlon season runs from March to August so this is effectively the low season for our athletes. The majority of our High Performance athletes are in the beginning of a new phase of training for the 2014 season with a lot of our Youth athletes consolidating after a fantastic year of new experiences competing and training in modern pentathlon.
HOW THE EVENT WENT, QUOTE
Lindsey Weedon (Performance Director). The 2013 National Championships was a huge success and a real show case event for our new facilities at the National Sports Campus. Being able to train and compete in the five disciplines on one campus is something which is something our athletes have been dreaming about and, with continued hard work, will hopefully begin to translate into winning medals that they’ve also been dreaming about. The NSCDA and Horse Sport Ireland need to be recognised in helping to facilitate this development which will see the start of a new chapter for the association and the sport of modern pentathlon in Ireland.
In terms of the competition, it was an ambitious competition schedule to run all events on one day but with the dedication of a great team of volunteers we were able to make it work to a really high standard. Everyone was delighted with the way the competition ran and feedback about the event has been really positive.
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