Barefoot running just one attraction at World Mini Games

An estimated 5,000 people are expected to participate in everything from power-lifting to barefoot running, hockey eights, and a motograss championship when Cork’s first World Mini Games kicks off next month.

The four-day event, aimed at non-elite adult athletes, will also feature two Guinness world record bids and an Irish Sports Summit which will be addressed by keynote speakers from all over the world.

Volunteers are being sought to help with the feverish preparations in advance of the games, which will take place in the city’s Mardyke area and in towns around the county. They are being organised by a panel of about 20 people and a number of smaller committees.

The initial idea came from a popular event in Kinsale and then grew out of a sports festival held in Ballincollig two years ago.

Games chairman James O’Reilly said: “We looked at the Kinsale Sevens and what it does for the town in terms of the local economy. We decided to take the idea but to bring it across a number of sports.

“The World Mini Games is aimed at non-elite adult athletes who are enthusiastic about sport but who often would not get a chance to take part in a big countywide competition.”

Most of the events are mini-versions of about 25 popular sports — including rugby sevens, five-a-side football, 3X3 basketball — but there’s also wind-surfing, power-lifting, and motograss.

“This is for adults who would love to take part in a community games-style events. It’s simple in concept,” he said.

Volunteers are required to help with the preparations and during the event which runs from Thursday, Aug 22, to Sunday, Aug 25.

“Some of the events, such as the 5k run, will involve a large number of people,” he said.

Events will also take place in towns such as Ballincollig and Bantry.

An Irish Sports Summit will be held in Cork City Hall on Friday, Aug 23, attended by John Treacy of the Irish Sports Council and a number of international sports industry figures.

The games are being supported by both Cork county and Cork city councils.

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