Male and Female Club Players Nationwide Urged to Compete!
Placed ball specialists Bryan Sheehan of Kerry and Paul Durcan of Donegal took time out in advance of the eagerly anticipated all-Ireland Football Quarter Finals this weekend to launch the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition. They were joined in Croke Park by members of Bray Emmets GAA club and MBNA and current record holder Mark Herbert from Kildare where they issued a challenge to GAA players from both club and county to take part in the 2011 competition and break the Kick Fada distance records which now stand for a decade.
The Kick Fada records which stand at 73m for men and 52m for women were set in 2001 by four-time MBNA Kick Fada Champion Mark Herbert from the Ballyteague GAA Club and Suzanne Hughes from Ballyboden St Endas GAA Club in Dublin.
Over 20 inter-county stars are expected to accept the record-breaking challenge and take part in the 2011 competition, which takes place in Bray Emmets GAA Club on Saturday, 10 September.
Speaking at the launch, Suzanne Holmes, communications director, MBNA, outlined the challenge facing 2011 competitors, “Breaking the 10-year record will be a considerable feat for any player. For the men, the distance required is equal to one and half times that of an Olympic swimming pool or placing 18 cars end to end!
We are confident however that the 2011 competitors for the MBNA Kick Fada will have what it takes, and we are looking forward to the competition in September.”
The MBNA Kick Fada determines who is the longest and most accurate kicker of a Gaelic football in Ireland. Competitors must kick the ball over the bar through specific competition goalposts twice the width of conventional goal sizes.
Explaining the considerable interest in the MBNA Kick Fada competition among established GAA inter-county stars, competition organiser Dermot O’Brien of Bray Emmets GAA Club said, “Over the last 11 years, a huge array of inter-county stars have taken part annually in the competition. Ultimately, any player at inter-county level is a serious competitor at heart and the opportunity to test the core skill of kicking a Gaelic football against top quality opposition in a novel fashion becomes addictive. In 2010, we had players from over 15 counties represented, including 2010 Player of the Year Bernard Brogan, and our aim is to have every county in Ireland represented.” Over the last decade, MBNA has contributed to the grass roots of Gaelic Games through their NUI Maynooth Scholarship programme; paid tribute to some of the greatest football players to have played the game with their Hall of Fame awards; and stimulated friendly inter-county rivalry with the hotly contested annual MBNA Kick Fada competition.
The MBNA ‘Hall of Fame’ will induct a new GAA legend into its ranks later this summer to join past inductees Cork’s Billy Morgan, Kerry’s Mick O’Dwyer and Donie O’Sullivan, Dublin’s Jimmy Keaveney, Offaly’s Peter Nolan and the late Dermot Earley of Roscommon. Any GAA players interested in taking part in the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition can contact PJ Cunningham of Bray Emmet’s GAA Club or go to www.brayemmets.com and become a fan on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/people/Bray-Emmets/100001032670648#!/people/Bray-Emmets/100001032670648?sk=wall. Fans can also follow the latest news from the MBNA Kick Fada competition on www.mbna.ie/kickfada.