Michael Dundon, former editor of the Tipperary Star newspaper and PRO of the Thurles Sarsfields 2014 International Hurling Festival reports.
Over eighty teams will be taking part in this year’s 2014 forth Thurles Sarsfields International Hurling Festival, which takes place this coming July, is a week-long event to tie in with the Munster hurling final.
The video slide-show hereunder gives just a small taste of the preparation and the taking part by some of last year’s talented participants. (Click HERE for full HD)
Arrangements are at an advanced stage for this prestigious event which for the first time will include ladies football and juvenile hurling tournaments in addition to the usual, thirteen-a-side hurling, camogie, road bowling and Caman Abu competitions, which have been so successful over the last three years. The Target Ball bowling competition for the handicapped, such a big hit last year, will again be part of this year’s festival.
Former Sarsfields chairman, John Enright, the driving force behind the festival, says that the Semple, Carew, and Culhane Cups will again be the main feature of the hurling festival, but this year teams will be taking part from some of the more traditional counties with the aim of upgrading competition. Sixteen teams will participate in these, with eight teams in both the camogie and ladies football tournaments.
Last year a Caman Abu inter-pubs/societies recreational hurling competition was introduced and was a massive hit. This year it is planned to have thirty two teams involved and the event will be run over three nights in the week, leading up to the Munster final.
The festival will commence on July 5th with the ladies football, target ball, and road bowling events. The Semple, Carew, and Culhane cups hurling and the camogie competition for the Helen O Mara cup take place on Saturday July12th.
John Enright stated that the cultural side of the festival is not being forgotten and this year a Ceili House will be staged at the Sarsfields Centre on Saturday July 12th, following the competitions and presentation of prizes.
John Enright stated “The festival is evolving each year and we are continually seeking ways to improve it; to make it more attractive for both participants and spectators. We have additional teams this year and supplementary events which we hope will make it an even better spectacle than before.
The festival has grown steadily over the last three years, thanks to the great support of our sponsors and the hard work of our committee and club members. Our aim is to promote Thurles as a sports tourism centre for the benefit of the town and to achieve this we would welcome all the support we can get from the Thurles public.”
The Hidden Tipperary Tourism Group, chaired by Mr Seamus King, gave their full commitment earlier this month to assisting where possible in attracting as many visitors to Thurles as possible for this major sporting event. Visitor attractions in Thurles will halve their entrance fees or offer free admission during this week-long festival period, beginning July 5th through to July 12th 2014.
Sounds like Thurles will be the place to visit in early July 2014.