A team of three farmers have taken to the gymnastics mat after having been inspired by the efforts of the athletes during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The three men, all from the Eglish area, decided to take up rhythmic gymnastics after seeing England Scotland and Wales pick up an impressive 34 medals between them. Since converting part of his hen shed into a ‘state of art’ gymnasium, 38-year old Joe Carson and the team have been learning and perfecting their moves.
The 20-stone bachelor, who specialises in ball and hoop, said,
“Those wemmin doin’ the high kicks and suchlike on the rhythmic gymnastics at the Commonwealth Games was amazin’ hi. In fact, I spent a few afternoons watching it on the telly beating out a rhythm of my own. They’re a class act. That’s why I took it up. And I’m carrying a little bit of holiday weight at the moment so I could probably so with trimming down a wee bit. But if we keep going, who knows, it might be us next year at the Commonwealth Games. It’s in Brazil, right?”
“We’ve still a few problems to sort out”, said 42-year old Francie Boyle, “But we’re working on them. Plunkett Muldoon [who specialises in ball and hoop] tried to leap off the floor to do a mid-air straddle, and he landed with his full weight on top of a whole lock of chickens. His leotard was in a right mess. To be honest, the chickens didn’t look great either”.
Boyle also incurred the wrath of the other two members of the team for making a mess of the brand new white gymnast flooring at the Coventry based gymnastics facility they were practicing in on weekends.
“Aye, that’s right”, said a shame-faced Boyle, who most enjoys working with ribbon. “I traipsed slurry all the way over the brand new padded matting when I was trying to get into an arabesque. I suppose I should have taken the wellies off first but I’m a slave to my corns this time of year. And I suppose I need to invest in some proper ribbon. Using blue rope just gets all tangled up”.
The lack of proper equipment has been an ongoing issue following a group practice training session where a mix-up in choreography resulted in Carson nearly getting garroted with a 10-foot length of baler twine when Boyle was attempting a pivot.
The group are also considering commandeering Boyle’s daughter’s paddling pool so that they can take up synchronised swimming.
PARADE OF THE ELEPHANTS – Barney Eastwood and Jimmy Cricket lead the annual Parade of the Elephants at 10am Saturday morning. These fine creatures, 9 in total, live on the Tullhogue side of the town and are native to the area. They are a distant relative to the elephants you’d see in programmes about Africa and barely survived the hose pipe ban of 1995. Young children at risk from being excreted on so caution needs to be exercised.
COALISLAND/CLONOE LEAGUE FINAL
Edendork will witness the coming together of Coalisland and Clonoe people – a must-see event (Sat 2pm). The East Tyrone diaspora are a uniquely indigenous people, many of whom haven’t set foot out of a 15-mile radius of the area apart from going to Nutt’s Corner in the lead up to Christmas. Sit back and watch how they interact using one-syllable words. Witness their jeans and tucked-in jumpers – a real heart warmer. Observe how they manage to throw a pound into the turnstyle and get away with it by employing a pretend innocent ignorance that you had to pay in at all. Get there tomorrow before they start watching Friends and change.
Celebration of Polygamy. The marriage of one man and several women or one woman and several men, is prohibited in modern day Omagh, but only in the first weekend of December and must be terminated by St Stephen’s Day. The great Seamus McMahon, the oldest living functional man in Omagh, is said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines. Sunday polygamy service starts at 4pm Sunday at Healy Park.
Baler Twine Belt Competition. Sunday 9am sees the inaugural baler twine belt event. Men and women will parade down the main street in their Sunday best with only baler twine holding up their modesty. Best twine judged by Hugo Duncan and Jimmy McGuinness.