The Craughwell Juvenille AC AGM took place over Zoom last Thursday evening and aside from the usual officer elections, the main topic up for discussion was a vote on the facility/track next steps! As we all know, this was only made possible thanks to the drive and inspiration of Shauna and all the Bocquet family and the support of the entire Galway community through the 42K Challenge which brought some much needed spark and fun to an otherwise quite dreary 2020!
To all the many challengees from Tuam to East Galway to Dublin to France that walked, cycled, ran, swam, rowed, hitsteps, chin ups, got up early and countless other weird and wonderful undertakings – a HUGE THANK YOU from everyone in the athletic club and the whole community of Craughwell. This effort raised a total of 49,000 euro, not a cent of which will be wasted!!
Track Options Considered at the AGM
Three options were presented to the large group of members present for discussion and voting, along with the pros/cons and estimated cost of each:
- A 4-Lane Track Adjacent to the existing 8-lane sprint track
- A 5-Lane Track Adjacent to the existing 8-lane sprint track
- A 6-Lane Track with two lanes merged to the existing 8-lane sprint track.
After some good discussion the decision was taken almost unanimously to go for Option 1 of a 4-lane Track adjacent to the existing 8-lane Sprint track. The main reasons were a) this option allows us to retain more space around the perimeter for gravel and grass trails which are critical to distance running and local walkers b) this option will hopefully financially enable us to get something in place for Shauna to use in 2021 whereas the other options would take longer and more rounds of fundraising before we could get started. Kudos to facilities manager Michael Tobin for laying out all the tradeoffs clearly and openly. The track plan is for two phases.
Phase 1 (2021): Lay 400m 4-lane Tarmacadam Track
All rubber tracks have a tarmacadam underlayer so our goal in 2021 is to get this part of the project in place – to do the groundwork, kerbing and lay an accurate tarmacadam 400m track which Shauna and others can use to train on. We also plan to “Square off” the corner near the green shed which will otherwise be not usable so that it can be used as an assembly area and perhaps for throws in the future. This first phase in itself will give us options to do relay practice, bend running and many things we can’t do today. More importantly, it will be perfect for Shauna to train on. We have no official quotes but this phase alone will cost much much more than the 49K raised. However we applied for and received approval to re-purpose a grant alotted for the future building so hope that by using this we can accelerate this phase for Shauna and everyone who helped in the 42K challenge.
Phase 2 (2022): Lay Rubber Surface
We really hope we can make it happen in 2022!! We will need to acquire extra funds in order to get the rubber surface that would make the track safer for people to train on and be able to use spikes. We are hopeful that we can get some support from the State for this great community project, fingers, toes, legs and arms crossed – we all know from the 42k-Challenge engagement that our local politicians are firmly behind the project and will be fighting our corner!!
A rough visualization of the facility is shown below:
The YELLOW track and corner assembly area is what we voted and what we plan to build ASAP! As you can see this option means we can leave the existing gravel track more or less undisturbed, giving us plenty of space for soft-surface training around the perimeter. This is REALLY exciting stuff and another huge step in a community project decades in the planning by you-know-who!! The fact that the track will be adjacent means we will have uninterrupted training during the construction, and when completed we will be able to accomodate sprinters and endurance athletes training or even competing at the same time which should be brilliant, and the existing long-jump area is undisturbed.
Get in touch if you can help!
This is the roadmap – if YOU can help in any way – ideas, expertise, contacts and especially of course funding – PLEASE GET IN TOUCH. After the decision, we voted on a new Track Committee and the positive and popular Loic Bocquet agreed to chair and drive the project along with an enthusiastic group around him. We are a ragtag bunch of local parents who are trying to do something good for the area and have more enthusiasm than sense – we will take any help or advice we can get!!