Thousands set to descend on Cork for World Mini-Games

Up to 5,000 people are due to descend on Cork this week for the inaugural World Mini-Games.

The games will involve everything from dodgeball to barefoot running and two world record bids.

Organisers have called for more volunteers to help with the running of the games, which will take place in the city’s Mardyke area and towns around the county. “We have about 40 volunteers to date, but would welcome more,” said chairman James O’Reilly.

The three-day event will be launched on Friday by Michael Ring, junior minister for tourism and sport, when he opens a special Sports Summit — Growth Through Partnership — at Cork City Hall.

The all-day seminar will examine the potential for maximising sponsorship and partnerships within sport and will be addressed by Jaimie Fuller, chairman of the Skins sports brand.

This is followed by an intense but varied two-day sports programme, which will feature GAA, rugby, football, soccer, street handball, golf, volleyball, chess, and much more.

“On Saturday and Sunday the main public hub for the sport and family activities is the Mardyke, where there will be over a dozen sports as well as bouncy castles and face painting,” said Mr O’Reilly, adding that in the longer term, organisers planned to bring the event to the international stage.

“However it’s very much for the people of Cork to enjoy; we hope they will come out and support this event in great numbers,” he said.

Mr O’Reilly said that although many of the listed events require pre-registration, there will be plenty of come-and-try activities.

The games constitute an official Gathering event.

Saturday brings the world’s largest barefoot race over 100m — the event is in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation, while on Sunday about 1,400 people are expected to participate in what is widely predicted to be the world’s largest circuit fitness-training class in aid of the Irish Cancer Society.

Most of the events are mini- versions of popular sports including rugby sevens, five-a- side football, and three-on- three basketball, but there are also activities such as power- lifting and motograss.

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