David O’Connor from Camp wading his way through HercOileán – The Island Warrior Challenge at An Riocht
HercOileán – The Island Warrior Challenge 2015 has come and gone and the inevitable post mortem can now take place.
Saturday’s event, a collaboration between An Riocht AC and Castleisland Rugby Club, was the second outing of the innovative Island Warrior Challenge. Though well inland in calendar terms from last year’s October 11th date – it put down another sound ambassadorial marker and made a strong case for its retention in 2016 and beyond.
While coming up against a whole raft of counter attractions over the weekend, the event has made a great impression on those who have participated the two to date.
There is the fun element of it all and that seems to be heightened by involving a team of friends in the action. There is a distinct advantage in the team mentality as the obstacles were quite testing and a helping hand was often the difference between frustration and fun.
As with all fledgling events and festivals, the drawing board is a constant piece of office furniture and will, no doubt, be in use for HercOileán and its future.
It has made a great impression of the participants in its two outings to date and it certainly has been a spectators’ dream of an event. The fact that it has drawn a major sponsor – in the league of the EBS in only its second year – speaks volumes for its viability as an attractive, sporting event in the annual calendar here. The only thing left to consider really is its pitch on that calendar.
I was Down the Banks – as we refer to being by the river – yesterday and a man said in passing: “Isn’t that a great bit of fun and that’s something that’s sadly lacking in life today. And fair play to the people who are willing put themselves through this in front of their friends and neighbours – and here we are lapping it all up.”
That and the army of volunteers and the team spirit and the united sense of purpose makes it all worth while.
It’s unlikely that anyone will bother to say that to the organisers though. So they can take it as an oblique compliment and carry on regardless.