SPEECH BY CLLR. DAVID NAUGHTON, CATHAOIRLECH AT CIVIC WELCOME FOR PARTICIPANTS OF THE SENIOR SCHOOLS INTERNATIONAL TABLE TENNIS CHAMPIONSHIPS ON JUNE 25 2010
“Fellow Councillors, invited guests, Ladies and gentlemen,
I would like to welcome each and every one of you to the Castletroy Park Hotel as Limerick prepares to host the Senior Schools International Table Tennis Championships.
As you may be aware, County Limerick is no stranger to hosting national and international sporting events.
In the past few months alone, Limerick has hosted the Special Olympics Ireland Games, the Irish Heat of the Strongman’s Champions League, an international challenge match between the Barbarians and Ireland, and a recent soccer international between the Republic of Ireland and Australia.
Not far from here is Thomond Park, the home of Munster Rugby, while the University of Limerick Sports Campus is just a stone’s throw away from the hotel.
We are very fortunate to able to benefit from such impressive sporting facilities and I have no doubt that they will continue to contribute to Limerick’s growing status as Ireland’s sporting capital.
I would like to compliment the work of the Irish Table Tennis Association in developing the sport throughout the island of Ireland.
Since its establishment in 1937, the organisation has grown from strength to strength, and along with its four affiliated branches today manages all areas of the sport.
I would like to congratulate the Association’s Ulster Branch President, Tony Phillips who was recently included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to Youth Sport”.
I am told that Tony has been a stalwart of Irish and Ulster Table Tennis for many years, and he richly deserves the accolade he has received.
On behalf of Limerick County Council, I congratulate Tony and his family. His award no doubt is an award for the entire association and the excellent work it continues to carry out across Ireland.
Only last week for example, the Association held an open training camp in Dublin.
Events like this will undoubtedly contribute to the successful development of the sport and I hope to see such events being organised on Shannonside sometime in the near future as I know there is a considerable interest in the sport here.
For example, I am aware of at least two active Table Tennis Clubs in Limerick, namely the Abbeyfeale Table Tennis Club and the University of Limerick Table Tennis Club which will host the upcoming championships.
I know that the Irish Association is affiliated to the International Table Tennis Federation and European Table Tennis Union.
On that note, I would like to extend a warm welcome to County Limerick to the representatives of 14 other Associations gathered here this evening.
In particular, I wish to extend a warm welcome to the ITAA President and Chairman, and their wives. It is a pleasure to have you here.
I would like congratulate everyone involved in the organisation of this weekend’s championships.
I especially would like to acknowledge the many people who have volunteered their time to help organise and coordinate the competition.
It should be pointed out that events like this would not be possible without a strong ethos of volunteerism within the Association.
In conclusion and on behalf of the people of County Limerick, I would like to wish the competitors and organisers of the Championships the very best of luck over the coming days.
CLLR. DAVID NAUGHTON
CATHAOIRLEACH OF LIMERICK COUNTY COUNCIL