CRKC makes dreams come true as Alex meets his hurling heroes

CRKC makes dreams come true as Alex meets his hurling heroes

Alex Cashin (Emeralds) had a day to remember in UPMC Nowlan Park on Sunday

A young Kilkenny hurling fan was in dreamland after getting the chance to go behind the scenes and see his heroes in action.

For Alex Cashin, Sunday’s Leinster championship game between the Cats and Antrim was no ordinary match. The hurling-mad youngster from Urlingford found himself in the thick of it after winning a competition on Community Radio Kilkenny City (CRKC) to get the complete match-day experience.

The competition, which was organised by station Jackie O’Neill and Kilkenny County Board treasurer Barry Hickey, had the aim of showing a young GAA fan the workings of UPMC Nowlan Park on the occasion of an intercounty game.

There was great interest in the competition before, on Friday, Alex Cashin was announced as the winner on the station’s sports programme.

When contacted, Alex was absolutely gobsmacked. The diehard Kilkenny fan lives close to senior county manager Derek Lyng, while his favourite Kilkenny player is TJ Reid.

There was an early start on Sunday as Barry Hickey met with Alex, his mam Suzanne and Jackie O’Neill at the Park. Alex’s first job was to prepare the refreshments for the big number of volunteer stewards who man the turnstiles, patrol crowds and organise parking facilities. With Barry at his side, he organised the many scanners required by the big number of admission points.

Alex got a great kick when Barry brought them into the Kilkenny dressing room. The jerseys were all hanging on hangers around the individual cubicles. Alex made a dash over to TJ Reid’s cubicle – of course there had to be a picture. He was so delighted when Barry put him up on the training bicycles, and on the rowing exercise equipment.

After that it was on to the TV gantry on Ardán de Grás, before continuing onto the nervecentre of Nowlan Park on match day. After the match he met many of the Kilkenny players like Walter Walsh, Adrian Mullen, Cillian Buckley, John Donnelly, Paddy Deegan and of course TJ.

He was presented with a signed poster of his favourite player plus a signed sliotar.  His big day finished with an interview in the press box and a visit to the station’s new outside broadcasting unit before being treated to a well-deserved dinner.