Mair Kelly, better known for wielding a table tennis bat is one of the delegates travelling with a group of 9 students representing the Cork YMCA and Cork County Comhairle na nÓg, a child and youth council in 31 local authorities of the country, which give children and young people the opportunity to be involved in the development of local services and policies. The group head off to the European Parliament in Strasbourg from 19th-21st May.
Mair first became involved through a transition film module at Schull Community College and has taken part in the Dóchas Sustainable Global Goals Summit where her group interviewed many important people in Ireland and the world. Their film group has gone on to further national success being presented with the National Overall prize in “Show Racism the Red Card,” on Wednesday 11th May at the AVIVA stadium. The event was attended by more than 600 young people from schools and youth services from around Ireland. The video also featured the music and voice of another of our table tennis players James Kelly. https://youtu.be/N9MMPw0MUy4
The European Youth Event (EYE) is a unique opportunity for thousands of young Europeans to make their voices heard. During the event, they will exchange ideas and perspectives on youth-related issues, develop innovative solutions to crucial questions for the future and meet with European decision-makers and speakers with a wide range of professional experience.
At the same time the EYE will provide an opportunity to experience the rich cultural diversity within the European Union through the staging of various artistic performances and spectacles.
Mair feels that her experience in table tennis has had a direct influence on her interest in travel and meeting new people and that the sport has enabled her to develop both the self-assurance and confidence to become an advocate in the area of youth activism.
Mair is a last year junior and hopes to be able to continue her involvement in the sport both on and off the table promoting Women in Sport, participation, administration and coaching and to continue her involvement in Special Olympics.
“I have been involved in the sport for most of my life and I have been proud and honoured to represent my province, country, college and local community. Through Table Tennis I have developed a strong sense of fair play and sportsmanship, you have to be disciplined and work hard to achieve success and you have to continually test yourself, I think that is a great ethos for life”
Mair who has just returned from a successful club event at the International Youth Cup in Belgium has also been selected for the SSI in Limerick in June as well as part of the Irish squad travelling to Angby in Sweden in July.