For the first time ever (from local knowledge) a Gurteen/ Ballymacward community games athlete occupied a place on the podium at the National Community Games finals in UL on Sunday. A member of Caltra AC, David Hillary, Attyregan, Ballymacward enters the history books as the first athlete in the area to win a Platinum medal for his 4th place finish. David had qualified from the area as being the only competitor in the U16 age group. This mattered little to him as he prepared very well over the summer months.
His excellent preparation was evident in his semi-final performance where he romped home easily in 1st place in his heat on Saturday and again on Sunday when he finished 4th in emphatic fashion in a time of 4:35, a PB for him. From the word Ready Steady Go, David’s eyes were firmly fixed on the finish line tape and although he may not have been the quickest out of the blocks he burst through with such powerful speed for the latter half of the race making up some ground with a strong impressive run.
Although only running with Caltra AC for just over a year, David’s development in athletics has been remarkable and built on hard work and a determination to do his best. One thing for sure, David Hillary is the best U16 mile runner in the area at the moment and it’s looking like more podium places are not too far away. He certainly looks to have a great future in athletics amongst other sports he plays.
Thanks to his coaches Mike Donoghue and Ronan Gately for all their help, advice and fine tuning in preparing David so well to compete in the National Community Games finals. Special mention also to Paul Hogan, Donna Kelly, Clare Mitchell- Hart and Claire Queeney from Gurteen/ Ballymacward Community Games Committee for their selfless and generous care and support and constant contact on Saturday and Sunday. The future for this young man looks very bright indeed.
David is pictured post race proudly displaying his Platinum medal with Olive Loughnane, European Championship gold medallist in the 2009 20k race walk.