Sheehan and Durcan launch kick fada competition
Kerry sharpshooter Bryan Sheehan and Donegal goalkeeper Paul Durcan took time out from preparing for their All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals to launch the 2011 MBNA Kick Fada competition today.
They were joined at Croke Park by members of Bray Emmets GAA club and MBNA and current record holder Mark Herbert from Kildare.
They issued a challenge to GAA players from both club and county to take part in this year's competition and break the Kick Fada distance records which now stand for a decade.
The Kick Fada records, which stand at 73 metres for men and 52 metres for women, were set in 2001 by Herbert, the four-time MBNA Kick Fada champion from Ballyteague GAA Club, and Suzanne Hughes from Ballyboden St Enda's in Dublin.
Over 20 inter-county stars are expected to accept the record-breaking challenge and take part in the upcoming event which is being held at Bray Emmets GAA Club on Saturday, September 10.
Speaking at the launch, Suzanne Holmes, communications director with MBNA, said: "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 Kick Fada will have what it takes, and we are looking forward to the competition in September."
The Kick Fada determines who is the longest and most accurate kicker of a Gaelic football in Ireland. Competitors must kick the ball over the crossbar through specific competition goalposts twice the width of conventional goal sizes.
Competition organiser Dermot O'Brien of Bray Emmets added: "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 the Footballer of the Year Bernard Brogan from Dublin, and our aim is to have every county in Ireland represented."
Meanwhile, 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, Jimmy Keaveney from Dublin, 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 Emmets or go to www.brayemmets.com and become a fan on facebook.
Fans can also follow the latest news from the MBNA Kick Fada competition on www.mbna.ie/kickfada.