Limerick man seeks to retain Tree Throwing title

Limerick man John O’Dea (pictures attached) will attempt to retain a rather unique sporting record when he takes part in the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship in Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sunday, 3rd January 2016.

The Cappamore native is bidding for his third title and break the Guinness World Record.

The Championship, which is based on age-old lumberjack traditions and is commonplace across Germany and Austria, will see members of the public competing to achieve the longest distance for throwing a standard 1.5-metre tree.

2014 winner Gary O’Growney from Dublin and 2013/2015 winner John O’Dea share the Irish Record. Both competitors threw their trees a distance of 10.2 metres, which is just under 2 metres short of the World Record currently held by Klaus Pubnaz who hurled a tree a distance of 12 metres at an event in Germany five years ago. Last year’s Under 12 section was won by Shane Kenny from County Clare, while the Ladies section was won by Audrey Kavanagh (4.1m).

This year’s winner will once again receive the Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship trophy while proceeds raised by the 5th annual event will go towards the West Clare Mini-Marathon Cancer Centre.

Organised by Clare County Council in conjunction with Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities, the event will also see the public’s used Christmas trees being sent forward for recycling.

Tim Forde, General Manager, Active Ennis Sports and Leisure Facilities said, “This event has grown in popularity year on year since it was first held in 2012. Last year, more than 250 people had a go at becoming the latest Christmas Tree Throwing Champion and we are once again inviting people to come along to Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park to take part. As well as being a novel way to turn Christmas tree recycling into a sport, this annual event will raise funds for a local charity.”

“Disposing of the Christmas tree is often an arduous task for many so this event allows people to do so in style and with relative ease. The Council will be providing a free Christmas tree recycling service at various locations throughout Clare, but we would welcome anyone who wishes to drop their tree at the contest and make a donation towards the West Clare Mini-Marathon Cancer Centre. We will also arrange for the tree to be mulched for use by the Council’s gardening section. Christmas trees also will be on site during the day for anyone wishing to participate,” he added.

The Irish Christmas Tree Throwing Championship takes place on Sunday, 3rd January 2016, between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. at Active Ennis Tim Smyth Park, Ennis, Co. Clare.

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