IRISH INDOOR ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Athletics Northern Ireland and Athletics Ireland are pleased to announce the Woodie’s DIY Irish Indoor Senior Championships will take place at the Odyssey Arena Belfast on 19th-20th February next year. The competition acts as Trials for places on the Irish Team for the European Indoor Championships in Paris, France.
This is the eighth Irish Indoors meeting in the North which has been made possible by the generous assistance of title sponsor Woodie’s DIY and funding partners Belfast City Council. Upwards of 1000 athletes will be participating at the landmark Odyssey Arena, which hosts Ireland’s only indoor hydraulic 200-metre running track.
Some of the members of the NI Commonwealth Games athletics team were on hand to help launch the 2011 event including Tom Reynolds (North Down) and Joanna Mills (Ballymena & Antrim). Also present was Mark Patterson (North Down) who has been preparing for the indoor season from his base in Loughborough. Patterson made the 800m semi-finals at the World Junior Championships in Canada last year.
Portaferry’s Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn) has confirmed her attendance and has had an unbelievable year winning a World Junior Silver medal in Canada, reaching the final of the 1500m at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and finishing 7th in the recent European Cross Country Championships. The versatile Mageean will now compete at the Millrose Games indoor meeting at Madison Square Garden next month en route to racing at the Odyssey to retain her title and hopefully compete at the European Indoors in Paris.
Tom Reynolds ended the Commonwealth Games decathlon in Delhi in 9th place with 7210 points, his second best score to his 7270 earlier this year. Tom set a new 100m PB, a season best at 400m and in the pole vault (4.60m). 400m runner Joanna Mills was part of the youthful 4x400m relay team which competed in the Games and is looking forward to the Indoor season.
“I love when the Irish Indoor Championships come around every year- it is a unique opportunity to compete in the Odyssey Arena and the atmosphere is always really good!”
Funding partners include Belfast City Council. Speaking at the launch, the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Pat Convery said:
“Belfast City Council is dedicated to the development of sport. We are proud to support this event and are pleased to be working in partnership with Athletics Northern Ireland and the Athletic Association of Ireland to deliver what is now a highlight in our city’s sporting calendar”.
Woodie’s DIY Irish Indoor Athletic Championships is also sponsored by accommodation partner, the Premier Inn who have three hotels based in Belfast- Titanic Quarter (120 rooms), Waring Street (171 rooms) and Alfred Street Hotel (148 rooms).
The event website, www.indoorathletics.net provides all competitors and spectators information on the event. Online entry is now open for the Seniors and the Juniors. Tickets are also available to purchase from Ticketmaster or through the Odyssey Arena.