Lusk A.C. - A brief history
Lusk Athletic club was founded in 1975 and was very successful up to its hibernation in the early 1990s, when the first generation of athletes had grown up, moved on to college, work and careers.
All aspects of Sport suffered from the lack of Volunteers during that period. But in the early 2000s, Sport was putting structures in place to protect children and adults, and Sports science had emerged as a new way of thinking about performance and development.
In Lusk a strong GAA and Soccer club catered for some Juveniles, but not everyone likes the rough and tumble of ball sports and ladies GAA was only starting. Those involved in Juvenile development could see that there was a gap in the sports menu for kids in Lusk, who did not fit the team structure.
So in Autumn 2009 a small group of parents came together to train children on the triangular village-green. We went from 10 to 30 kids training in no time and the village green was not big, or safe enough.
We approached the local primary school who had a hall, a football field and principal who knew the importance of education coupled with sport and was himself, immersed in the local community. We marked out a 400m track in the school field and there was no stopping us. The numbers grew, the recruitment of mentors became a role and the development of procedures and structures began to happen.
New mentors, brought new skills into the club. Coaches went to Development sessions to take notes. Bart Rogers in Athletics Ireland steered our way. Raheny Shamrocks became our exemplar and we watched and talked to them and they told us about the pitfalls and the trials and errors. We weren’t proud and we recognised that others knew more than us and so we looked to whoever could help us.
Our philosophy is and has always been, to have fun. We do this every-day. But we also put in place structures that would mean that the club was more than any one person. We worked within the “Q-mark” and that challenged us to think about procedures, structures, coaching, succession plans, risks, challenges and most important goals.
We set short and long-term goals that gave us a focus. Within these, we had objectives to win medals, qualify athletes, provide every discipline in athletics to anyone who wanted them, coaching ratios, financial sustenance etc. This business perspective to our “fun” has not curtailed us, it has strengthened us and made us robust to take on any challenges.
And there have been challenges. Personalities, injuries, politics and change, always lurk in the shadows, ready to cause sleepless nights. But being strong as a group, means that we have the robustness to overcome anything in a pragmatic manner.
There have always been more reasons to do nothing, than do something, but knowing what was the right thing to do and the courage to continue, has made our club. If we had thought about, and succumbed to all the risks involved in those early nights running around the village green, we would not be here today. If we had not fought for training grounds, stuck our neck out for funding and pushed open doors, we would have failed.
Ultimately we are a group of like-minded people who want a better and healthier future for ourselves, our children and our community. We are open to all races, nationalities, ages and genders. We know what we do well, but we also know when we need to do more, and that is the challenge. When we don’t have the skill we go find it. When we take our athletes as far as we can, we look to who can develop them better than us. We don’t fear losing our athletes to other clubs. We want only the best for our members and if that means the family has to let its children go to “big-school”, we hope that they will always remember the fun that they had with Lusk AC.
None of this would have been possible without the support and guidance of Athletics Ireland. For that reason we seek opportunity to give back as much as we receive. We officiate, become members of committees, coach and volunteer whenever we can. Why? Well, why not? We only have one shot at this, jump in and enjoy the run. Everyday we do our best.
Established: 1975 and re-invigorated in 2009.
Membership: 458 (Adults 196 and Juveniles 262)
National champions: In several Field and Combined events at Juvenile and Masters levels.
Coaches qualified: 7 Level II, several Level I and more than 20 Athletics leader, coaches.
Officials: Several members assist at National and Regional events.
Events: All Track, Field, Marathon, Trail and Ultra running events catered for.
Weight for height is the last events to bring on-board.