By Sandra Stanley, Interim General Secretary

When competitors arrived in Buncrana last Friday for the annual Irish Red Cross Senior Competition, they could have been forgiven for being beguiled by the beautiful backdrop provided by the Irishowen Peninsula.

The River Crana which runs alongside some of the competition stations.

The River Crana which runs alongside some of the competition stations.

But any illusions they may have had about taking part in a relaxed competition were dispelled the following morning when competition began.

 

The Donegal Area Committee outdid themselves in getting permission to use some superb locations which allowed the Competitions Committee put together some really detailed and novel scenarios.

 

A hostage situation, industrial injury, two people injured in an upturned car, and treatment on an island following a boat capsizing were among the stern tests set by the Competition Committee.

An upturned car which featured in one of the stations

An upturned car which featured in one of the stations

The competition really challenged competitors in all categories to showcase their skills and they rose to the occasion.

 

The teamwork throughout the competition was particularly admirable while those taking part in the Dominic Nugent individual event coped brilliantly with their challenges as did the bike competitors. I think bikes could become a real area of strength for the Irish Red Cross in the future.

Inside the upturned car

Inside the upturned car

Dublin branches were, as always, strong and Louth performed well. Donegal and Galway also got their names in the frame so we had a good spread of winners from different parts of Ireland. Meath returned to competition with a bang pickling up a couple of first places awards and place spots.

 

It was so good to see that just a day after we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Seven Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross, we could see them so clearly in evidence among the competitors.

The Louth team that won the President's Cup for 2015

The Louth team that won the President’s Cup for 2015

Their professionalism in dealing with some creative and difficult scenarios showed their understanding of what being in Red Cross is all about.

 

The bar for next years’ competition has been set high by organisers and competitors alike. So there’s a challenge for next year’s organisers.