The third annual Paul Magee Classic takes place this Sunday, May 6th in Leisureplex Stillorgan.
The tournament, which is run in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association, celebrates the life of former Irish international bowler Paul Magee, who sadly died after a long battle with the disease in 2008.
The event, labelled as a ‘mystery doubles’ tournament, is truly a one-of-a-kind tournament on the Irish bowling calendar, with players bowling two games before then discovering who their doubles partner is.
After all players bowl their two games, over two squads in the morning, the newly unveiled doubles teams’ scores are calculated to determine who advances to the finals round.
The top team qualify automatically for the grand final, with the teams placed in positions two through nine bowling in a one-game playoff to determine their opponents. The grand final is a one-game match, as is the third/fourth place playoff.
Play starts at nine am, with the finals scheduled to begin at one pm. There is then a presentation ceremony in the Stillorgan Orchard Pub and Lounge after the tournament, with a raffle also taking place here. All proceeds from the raffle will go to the IMNDA.
This event has become one of the most important and most loved on the bowling calendar in its short existence, such was the love and respect which the entire bowling community had for the man who inspired it. It commands the one of the largest entries for a bowling tournament in the entire schedule, and is a time to remember a true gentleman of the game.
Having been lucky enough to have known the man personally, this day is one of the most important of the year, and I know that I am not the only person who feels this way about the event. Each year the tournament grows as both a spectacle and as a tribute to a true hero, and it does so while making a significant contribution towards ensuring that others need not suffer the pain of losing someone as special as Paul Magee in the future.
So if you are planning on a lazy day this Sunday, and perhaps you have been affected by motor neurone disease in the past, or even if you just wish to be part of a very special occasion, you know where to be this bank holiday weekend.