After years of dreaming, the dream is finally becoming a reality. For this Tuesday at 7.30pm we are going to officially start using our new 8-acre field adjacent to the school. We are going to do a low-key ‘switching on the lights’ ceremony at that time and will be trying to get all training groups there at the same time this Tuesday to be part of that. We’d like to invite all of our athletes, parents and coaches to this on Tuesday and we will adjust training times for this Tuesday only to have everyone there together.
Age group coordinators will be in touch with their groups to arrange with them to come at different times this Tuesday – U8s and U9s groups should park in the school as normal and just on this occasion, older groups should park in the GAA who have kindly given permission to use their carpark this Tuesday.
So what have we done?
- During September, we bought an 8-acre site next to the school – mostly funded by loans.
- We’ve put a pedestrian gate in from the school.
- We’ve put up 15 floodlights on 5 poles.
- We’ve fenced it off to keep out animals and keep in kids!
- We’ve done some work on the adjoining roadway as a condition of our planning permission.
- We’ve marked out some running loops on the land.
And what are we going to do?
- We will build a 60m sprints and long jump runway and new long jump pit.
- We will build a high jump area.
- We will build a throwing area.
- We will create a grass 400m track.
- We will create a gravel pathway around the site boundary, approx. 800m.
- We will complete the roadway and car-park.
- We will build a substantial indoor athletics training centre.
And how are we going to do it?
- By keeping the club strong and coaching every individual athlete in the club to their potential.
- And seeking grants to match the fantastic enthusiasm of our coaches, athletes and parents.
- And keep low-key fundraising going along with hopefully more donations from parents.
And a few acknowledgements for helping us to get this far:-
- All of our coaches and committee who put in a huge slice of their time freely.
- Our 5 trustees without whom we would not have a facility and who agreed to be trustees.
- The parents who between them have loaned €83,000.
- The 2 financial institutions who between them have loaned €80,000 – UCIT and Loughrea Credit Union.
- Several parents within the club who have advised and helped with plans for the facility.
- The parents who have made donations to the fundraising campaign.
- The parents and golfers who helped with and played in our golf classic.
- Galway County Council for an amenity grant of €3805 towards the initial access work.
- KBC Bank for an award of €3600 under their Bright Ideas scheme towards construction of a new long jump pit.
- The construction and fencing companies and the FAS workers who have done the initial work on the site.
- Everyone else who have helped with and supported our fundraising efforts to date.
The picture below gives an outline of the eventual scale of the building that we hope to build. But in the short-term, we will constructing some outdoor facilities only in order to get using the new ground. All going well, we’d be building the first phases of the building in 2016.
And one final word before I sign off, if you haven’t already received tickets for our Night at the Dogs which is on this coming Saturday 15th November, we will be handing them out on both Tuesday and Thursday this week at training.
Hope to see you there!