Falling at the final hurdle is one of the worst feelings for anyone competing in any sport. To be within touching distance of glory and to have it slip from your grasp can at times feel as bad as falling at the first hurdle.
Unfortunately for three of DCU’s sports teams, the Men’s soccer first team, the ladies basketball team and the ladies Gaelic football team that is the exact feeling that they will have this week.
Each of the three however, should not let this feeling linger for too long. To reach a final in any sport, at any level takes hard work, dedication, and determination to perform to the very best of your ability.
Take the soccer team for example; nobody would have given them a chance of reaching the CUFL final, earlier this year, but through sheer determination and self-belief, they proved all of their doubters wrong and were very unfortunate not to lift the trophy.
As for the ladies basketball team, they too won’t be disappointed for too long as they still have the intervarsities tournament in their sights in April to make amends for last week’s defeat and should have their full team to choose from by then.
The manner in which the ladies Gaelic football team were beaten in the final against Queen’s will be a bitter pill to swallow. However, the players and coaching staff can take solace from the fact that they showed such spirit in their semi-final victory over UL and they still have their league title from earlier in the season.
The three runners up can hold their heads up high in the knowledge that they have done their College, DCU ‘the home of champions’, enormously proud.
As the legendary American sports man Vince Lombardi once said;
‘The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.’
It is safe to say that each of the three teams did apply the best of themselves to the task at hand and they can use the disappointment of their final heart break to drive them on to better things next year.
All of us sports fans who attend DCU are given something to celebrate nearly every week. The success stories of the last two weeks came in the form of the DCU Swimming team and also our fellow student Éanna Bailey whom along with his team mate Natalya Coyle won a silver medal in the Modern Pentathlon World Cup.
For our Swimming team, a haul of seven individual medals (three gold, two silver and two bronze) and two relay medals at the intervarsities in UCD, was a truly remarkable achievement.
As club secretary Rob Whelan pointed out to Will in his report, last year the club had only one finalist and no medals as opposed to this year’s twenty finalists and nine medals.
This story would inspire any sports team. To have such a vast improvement within the space of a year shows that anything is possible in sport and that is why so many people are infatuated with it.
Although DCU finished fourth in the medals table, you have to take into account that teams like UCD and Trinity who finished ahead of DCU have a much larger panel to select from and in UCD’s case they have full time coaches and an Olympic sized swimming pool at their disposal.
With such an improvement in this year’s competition who knows how far they can go next year.
As for our modern pentathlon silver medallist Éanna Bailey, what can be said only that it is a phenomenal achievement to win a medal on the world stage and with this event it takes a great ability in several sports to succeed.
The modern pentathlon consist of five different events, pistol shooting, fencing, 200 m freestyle swimming, show jumping, and a 3 km cross-country run.
Surely now, Éanna will be building towards the Olympic games in Rio 2016 and I’m certain that I speak for everyone in DCU in wishing him the very best of luck with his future endeavours.
A mixed week for DCU sport but it is fantastic to be able to talk about the success of our fellow students and even for those beaten finalists, they have brought great excitement to sports fans across the campus over the year.
After all, to be spoken about as a gallant runner up who gave their all is one hundred times better than not being spoken about at all as someone who fell at the first hurdle.