Slieve Bloom Man Takes Part In World Timbersports Championships 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Slieve Bloom Man Takes Part In World Timbersports Championships  thumbnailRepresenting Ireland in the Team Relay event in Stuttgart were: Leo Brophy, Gavin Thompson, Seamus Ryan, Daragh Clogher. Andrew Croke (18), from Waterford, was Ireland's first Rookie team member and Reserve. MT52221DF

SLIEVE Bloom man Leo Brophy has a number of strings to his bow. One of them is a love of the Slieve Bloom mountains; another is being a member of the Slieve Bloom Association; and another is his love of Timbersports. Leo became so accomplished at this demanding discipline that he qualified for the Irish team
 The Stihl Timbersports Series is a series of wood chopping competitions where the athletes compete in the use of axes and saws in manners typical for lumberjacks.
Leo was a member of the Irish team which participated in the 2016 Stihl Timbersports Team World Championship in Stuttgart where more than 100 logger sports athletes, teams from 23 countries, competed against each other.
Leo lives in the Slieve Bloom village of Killanure. His interest in Timbersports started when he wanted to learn more about traditional lumberjack skills. He says Timbersports is a competitive display of these lumberjack skills using axes, crosscuts and chainsaws. He likes that it's a technical sport that doesn't just rely on physical fitness. 'You need to develop techniques with precision and rapid responses,' he commented. 'It's also a sport where youth is not a major factor, with some previous international competitors in their 50s and 60s. Timbersports is an incredible spectacle; there isn't another sport like it.'
  This year Leo and the Irish team performed on the 11th and 12th November in front of avid fans and spectators in Stuttgart's sold out Porsche Arena. The team competition of the Series is carried out as a relay. The highly-skilled lumberjack athletes chop, saw and slice at speed. Team Ireland was thrilled to break the Irish National Record, the best time set by the country in over 10 years of competing in the sport. The Team of five athletes including Leo were Gavin Thompson, Daragh Clogher, Seamus Ryan and Andrew Croke.
  Stihl Timbersports started 30 years ago in the USA and arrived in Ireland in 2006 with the country's first Irish Championship. Lumberjack sports origins go back to 19th century Australia where foresters would compete with each other outside work, putting their forestry skills to the test.
  This year Team Australia secured gold in the final, ahead of Canada and the U.S.; breaking their previously set world record. While Ireland didn't place at the top they were delighted with the progress they made.


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