Monday, July 22, 2013

Former Villanova Teammates Jerry Bouma,
Eamonn Coghlan attend "The Gathering" in Dublin

 An Irish Gathering
The Edmonton Journal
July 21, 2013
Edmonton’s Jerry Bouma is just back from Dublin after celebrating The Gathering with running legend and college friend Eamonn Coghlan and Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny.

Jerry Bouma was team co-captain in 1974
“The Gathering is a largely government initiative to attract the Irish diaspora home and enhance tourism and business opportunities,” says Bouma, whose consulting company specializes in the food and agriculture industry.

“I trained for track events at Villanova University with Eamonn, who I tell people is to Ireland what Wayne Gretzky is to Canada. He is senator now and invited a dozen college track alumni over to play in a Senator’s Cup golf tournament.”

Coghlan, who won the indoor mile at the Journal Games in 1981, is a three-time Olympian and a former 5,000-metre world champion. At the age of 22, he ran a sub-four minute mile to set an Irish record before claiming the European record.

Coghlan was tagged “The Chairman of the Boards” for his mile wins on the US indoor circuit. He broke the world record three times and claimed the indoor world record for the 1,500- and 2,000-metre distances.

“The prime minister was unable to play golf because of controversies that make our own scene look tame,” says Bouma. “Abortion, banking, the future of the senate and fractions in his own party are just some of the heated discussions. But Kenny did spend about three hours with us before leaving to participate in the 180-kilometre Ring of Kerry bike tour the next day.”

For more on Jerry Bouma, the first Canadian scholarship runner at Villanova (1970-1974), go HERE.

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