Craughwell AC is one of the largest athletic clubs in Ireland with close to 600 children and teenagers, a remarkable statistic for a rural area. This has happened due to the tireless work of volunteer coaches and committee members and support from enthusiastic members and their parents.
A large club needs large facilities and we have been working hard on our facilities for almost two decades in several phases – with remarkable progress in recent years on our main facility at the Athletics Park. The club is indebted to a number of professionals who have given of their time freely or at little cost in helping with our developments to date, including Kieran Quinn, James Farrell and Noel Gorman for architectural drawings/planning applications, Iggy Greaney for engineering drawings and RFQs, Conor Waters for QS costings and Ciara Lennon of RDJ Solicitors for legal work associated with the development.
Craughwell AC Athletics Park
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The 8-Acre Athletics Park just outside Craughwell on the Galway side is the home of the Athletic Club and all of our development plans are centered here. The site was purchased by the club in 2014 after many years of hard work – from the initial concept proposal through to looking for locations, to the eventual purchase in 2014 and subsequent development.
This facility is only possible through the dedication and financial support of many volunteers and the whole community, as well as some state assistance via the Sports Capital Grant program and the European LEADER program.
The long term vision for the Park facility is constantly evolving but our hope, once the track complete, is to switch focus to developing indoor training options. This will provide new sources of income and enable athletes to comfortably train in difficult weather for events which are traditionally difficult to train for during the dark wet winter months.
As of 2021, the facility currently has a Club-House, a 120m sprint track with two long jump areas, a High Jump area and an 800m perimeter walking/running trail.
The current exciting phase of the project which is underway is the construction of a 6-Lane 400m Running Track initially to Tarmac level and we plan to add Tartan next pending Government assistance. We are also expanding our car parking space.
The Park’s Pathway is open to the Public to walk on at non-busy times (no dogs though, sorry!) – all we ask is that you be mindful of the athletes and take out a Park Membership if you can afford it to do your part to keep progressing this project!
The grass area at the back of the Primary School grounds in Craughwell was the original training facility of the club and Craughwell AC were key partners in the Craughwell Community Sports Group which led to the development of the excellent Astroturf facility and surrounding 365m sand track which now stand there.
At the time, it was a huge step up from the small muddy field we had previously!! To facilitate training hours, many of our training groups still use the Astroturf facility and surrounding trail. When we open the gate to the adjacent Athletic Park, a 1200m figure-of-8 loop becomes available to run on.
About a mile from Craughwell on the Galway side, the Senior Section of the club lease a 407m sand/gravel track. This is used primarily by the Senior and Fit4Life sections of the club, though Juveniles and other clubs use it too from time to time.
Why two facilities? In 2012 as the fantastic Fit4Life movement exploded, the volume of people looking to use the School Astroturf facility at the same time quickly outgrew the School Ground’s capacity. As we had not settled on a location or agreed a purchase for the park facilities at that stage, the Senior subsection partnered with the Soccer club to develop this facility which continues to see good use today.