This year’s Newman Games will be held on Wednesday 8th February on the pitches beside Centra. Present Sports Officer, Paddy Guiney, spoke to the College Tribune about the event and explained that he “wanted to do it to promote a campus wide sports day between every faculty”. In his view, the students of UCD already have a pride in their college and he wants to build on that.
In 2011, the Games were held late in Semester Two due to the ‘Save Our Ball’ campaign, organised by UCD Students’ Union’s current Campaigns and Communications Vice-President Brendan Lacey, the first Sports Officer. Lacey compliments his successor on his work, stating that in his opinion “[Guiney’s] been a far better sports officer than I … I’m just delighted to see the position working so well and bringing new people into the Union”.
Guiney explains that this year the games have taken on an ‘Old Skool’ twist; all of the events are “games that we used to have in primary school”. They will include tugs-of-war, rounder’s, egg and spoon races, as well as wheel barrow racing. The teams will also compete on obstacle courses and bungee runs. A Trad band from the Irish house will be playing on the day and face painting is encouraged.
Teams have the opportunity to compete for a range of prizes with the winners receiving the inaugural Sports Day trophy and medals. Other prizes include free entry into the official Sports Day after party that night for the top five teams, while Spin 103.8 goodie bags and Red Bull have also been organised for participants.
The Sports Officer informed the Tribune that he’d “done [his] best to cut costs this year”, his sports crew and he focused on using social media sites to publicise the event. It was run in conjunction with Seachtain na Gaeilge and the UCD Fashion Show in a further attempt to enhance awareness of the Games without increasing costs.
Both Brendan Lacey and Paddy Guiney are enthusiastic about the success of the day with Lacey stating that he thinks that it is “going to be absolutely fantastic”. Guiney will be pleased if his Games “promote students getting to know each other from all over UCD and [for them] to have fun on the day with the events.”
Students from each faculty are encouraged to organise a team of five members from their class; teams can be either male or female, preferably both. The entry fee is €4 per person with all proceeds going towards the Mark Owens Medical Fund and Asthma Society Ireland. The Newman Games kick off at 12pm.