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.
To the cheers of delighted fans a team of Tyrone athletes took to the podium in Glasgow yesterday to accept a gold medal, in one of the newest disciplines to be introduced into the modern Games.
The four-man team, mainly from Drumquin, won the new Triathlon ‘Complete Headcase’ event, which include three key disciplines of: drinking 10 pints of Stella without vomiting; fighting in the street with a minimum of 5 passers-by; and sleeping soundly for at least 12 hours with the volume on a nearby television turned up as high as it can go.
In a nail-biting finish, the Drumquin team initially slipped into second place after having lost a 12-point lead after one of the team, 24-year old Feargal Donaghy, wasted 20 minutes picking a fight with a lamp post he mistook for a very thin, very quiet, man. However, the team showed their mettle by gaining bonus points for putting toasted cheese under the grill and then forgetting all about it until the cooker went on fire. The team also impressed judges with their ability to last the entire event without eating anything than a packet of pork scratching between them.
“Their dedication to their sport is amazing”, admitted judge Tarquin Pringle from Canada. “I’ve never seen anything like it. Tyrone produce some of the very best nutters in the whole of the Commonwealth. Seeing them lurch onto the podium to collect the gold medal made my heart sing”.
Proud team leader of the squad Patsy Mirren, said,
“Some say that ‘Complete Headcase’ as an event isn’t a ‘proper’ sport. Jaysus, have you ever watched Mountain Biking? My 12-year old nephew could do that. And fighting’s just the same as the boxing or wrestling, except without the leotards”.He continued, “We nearly got disqualified when they found out we were from Drumquin, because they knew we had an unfair advantage. We’ve been training for this for years. Thon Glasgow boyos in particular gave us some run for our money, but we saw them off early doors at the drinking stage. They’d had a big feed of fried Mars Bars before the event and couldn’t keep up the pace. Mighty”.
Reflecting on the win, Donaghy said, “This gold medal is just phenomenal. We can’t wait to get it back to Tyrone and show it around. Some of them pawnshops in Cookstown will be deadly interested”.
The Tyrone Sports Council have already nominated further events for inclusion at the 2018 Games, including Head -Scratching, Diffing, Giving Directions to Strangers, and Breaking Wind.
Around 60 middle-aged men from Carrickmore, Galbally, Kildress, Coalisland and Ardboe will make their debuts today in the Commonwealth Games in Scotland, with high expectations of bringing home a rash of medals despite no official training.
The athletes arrived over in a convoy of six white vans yesterday, claiming they purposely avoided the opening ceremony because of the amount of cameras and men in uniform about the arena.
Early practice ironed out a few problems, especially after the majority turned up camouflaged with ferns and brackens from home. Additionally, many of their guns appeared to be covered in turf, as if unearthed just recently.
Jackie ‘eagle-eye’ McDermott (61) from Kildress was disappointed that the categories were not what they expected them to be:
“Yes a few things have annoyed us but we’ll tear away anyway. They said we are not allowed to wear any facial coverings but some of these lads shoot far better with what we now call ‘head-warmers’ on them. But rules are rules I suppose. The dark sunglasses and moustaches will do ok. Sniping doesn’t seem to be a category at all too.”
Unfortunately three men were sent home after early practice this morning for shouting ‘yeeoooo’ and a three-worded saying in Irish every time they hit a target, despite repeated warnings. One of the threesome, Peter Bradley (54) from Ardboe, dejectedly explained:
“Ghost-oh we got thrown out. It was a natural reaction, like, from years ago. I suppose shouting abuse at the English shooters was bad manners. We’ll be back in four years though with a better idea of the format. We haven’t gone away ye know.”
Meanwhile, another shooter, Hugh Devine (49) from Carrickmore, has been sent home for testing positive for homemade brew as well as making animal noises when rival air rifle competitors were aiming.
A man was hailed as a local hero today after the Guinness Book of Records confirmed his entry into the world record books for hitting the snooze button on his alarm clock an incredible eighteen times in one morning, before actually waking up and getting out of bed.
The young achiever, Caleb McGonnell, an unemployed fence-sitter from Dregish, finally woke up at 11.48am on Friday to a round of applause from his family and neighbours and a bacon sandwich from his mother, all of whom who had watched disbelievingly as he continually hit the snooze button on his Telechron 7H241 radio alarm clock an astonishing eighteen consecutive times before promptly falling back to sleep again.
“It was amazing”, said proud mother Martina. “After he did it for the tenth time we knew something special was happening. That’s when we put the call in to RTE and phoned round all the neighbours. I feel tara because for a long time I’ve been calling the cub a shiftless, good-for-nothing, lazy-arsed hoor, and all this time he’s been hiding his true talent. If only I’d known. It’s the proudest day of my life. It would be amazing if he got asked onto ‘Britain’s Got Talent’. He would look brilliant. Or he would do if he could stop clawing himself in his sleep”.
“I’ve done this at only 23 years of age”, said a delighted Caleb. “And to be honest I think my best years are ahead of me. I really believe I’ve more to give. Sleeping my way into the record books wasn’t too hard”, he said modestly. “When the alarm goes off, it’s all about trying to pretend you’re still asleep, hitting the snooze button, and then whipping your arm back under the covers before it gets cold”.
Dregish locals have already started an on-line campaign to have the activity made into an officially-recognised sport, and McGonnell’s family have created a team in readiness for the Commonwealth Games in case the men’s 100 metres sprint gets cancelled due to lack of interest.
Meanwhile according to sources, McGonnell is refusing to rest on his laurels, and is apparently already hard at work considering another bed-based activity for the record books which is being kept tightly under wraps, but apparently involves something to do with lying on his arm until it goes numb.