I’m reprinting here my nominating letter for this annual award down West. I hope that all Myrtlevillians will get behind this nomination and inundate Eoin O’Riordan, Gordon Adair and Finbarr Hedderman with communications to swing the vote in our favour.
For those who don’t know, the Mike Harris Trophy is for the person who has contributed most bigly to the spirit and ethos of open water swimming at Sandycove in a given year.
Dear Mike Harris Trophy winner pickers,
I’d like to nominate myself and Bernard, jointly, for this award.
I don’t think anyone has shown more support for the dwindling numbers of Sandycovers than the two of us. We’ve constantly mentioned Sandycove in Myrtlevillian communiques, just to remind people it still exists and to encourage someone – anyone – from the hundreds upon hundreds of regular Myrtleville swimmers to trudge down West. We encourage people to go – some more than others – to make it look like d’Island is still being used, before it’s reclaimed as a goat sanctuary and swimming is verboten.
In addition to trying to get people to go there the odd time, we have offered a refuge to all those escaping Sandycove who now spend the year training in Myrtleville, while still saying they’re true-blue Sandycovers – they just “don’t get there as often as they’d like”, as they say (as in, once a year).
Although Bernard wouldn’t get out of bed to go there, I personally visit quite often when I’m in Kinsale twice a week, dropping off for TKD classes. There’s never anyone there, obviously, but I at least go out there to try to show there’s a bit of interest in the place and to send bleak, empty photos back to Myrtleville. Maybe I should stop that – it might be putting people off going there even more, if that’s possible.
To be fair, it’s busy enough during Distance Week – a genius idea by Ned to get people from out foreign who aren’t in the know to go swimming there – and the day of the Challenge. But, I digress – back to the nomination. We routinely use our #supporttheweakercounties tag to raise the Sandycove profile and we send rakes of cakes down there for the Turkey Swims.
All in all, it’s hard to think of two more deserving recipients of the Mike Harris Trophy. Mike can present it to us down in Myrtleville. He’s always here.