Monday, October 07, 2019

MORE than 1,200 people danced on the banks of the Grand Canal in a bid to beat their own ‘Riverdance Challenge’ record in beautiful Vicarstown.

It was an amazing community occasion, as a long line of colourful dancers stretched out as far as the eye could see for the event, hosted by the SVT Activity and Wellness Hub, Laois Sports Partnership (LSP) and the Buggie School of Irish Dancing.

After consulting all the counters, clickers and tallymen, it was deemed that 1,223 men, women, children and footballers took part in the challenge on Saturday 28 September, nearly 200 more than the area’s previous record.

Caroline Myers (co-ordinator) and Róisín Lawlor (LSP)

Back in 2000, Vicarstown scooped Guinness World Record recognition for the largest simultaneous Riverdance along the banks of a canal, when 1,032 people took part in the fun-filled event.

Congratulations went to all the dancers and organisers, especially Gráinne Buggie Daly and Brid-Aine Buggie for their hard work. The school’s wonderful dancers continued to entertain the crowds in Annanough GAA hall late into the evening.

The occasion was a great chance for the SVT to showcase other activities going on in the area, including the Vicarstown park-runs and the canoeing/kayaking club, while events such as the juvenile GAA blitz and ‘Croke Park’ games proved hugely enjoyable and entertaining.

LSP’s disability inclusion officer Catriona Slattery and the SVT youth sport leaders were out on tandems encouraging people to have a go. Catriona and her team of volunteers are regulars at the Tuesday night family fun cycle in Vicarstown, demonstrating how cycling is accessible to people with physical and sensory disabilities.

The Riverdance Challenge and #BeActive evening of events in Vicarstown was part of the European Week of Sport, which promoted sport and physical activity for everyone, regardless of age, background or fitness level.

Vicarstown set a terrific example and organisers predict that they may well stage another Riverdance Challenge in 20 years’ time!

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