It’s almost 17 months since we publicly launched our grand ambitions for the purchase and development of an 8-acre site beside Craughwell NS. And its approaching 10 months since the club completed the purchase of the site. In that time-period the club has funded the purchase and development through a combination of loans totalling €164,000 and membership subscriptions, donations, fund-raising and grants with expenditure nearing the €300,000 mark as we speak.
The project has been an incredible success to date primarily based on the Trojan work done by our hard-working coaches who give countless hours of their time for free week-in week-out to help our children and older athletes develop to their potential. The club is going from strength to strength and this fantastic facility will help take us all to the next level – hopefully a level where we don’t have to travel anywhere else to practise, be it indoor or outdoor practise, and where we have a facility that meets all of our needs whether that is recreational activities for parents and children or competitive preparation for athletes.
The following gives a brief summary of the major milestones achieved so far:-
- 14 Feb 2014: Public launch of plans
- 21 Sept 2014: Site purchase
- Oct 2014: Construction of initial flood-lighting and rough access road
- May 2015: Creation of a number of grass running routes through the grounds
- Jul 2015: Resurfacing of the access roadway with the assistance of County Councillors
And the major targets in the months and years ahead:-
- Oct 2015: Construction of shed for warm-up/cool-down/circuits/high jump
- Nov 2015: Erection of further floodlighting to light up the remainder of the grounds
- 2016: Construction of car-park
- 2016: Construction of tartan sprint lanes and second long jump
- 2021: Phase 1 of multi-sport indoor training centre
- 2022: Phase 2 of multi-sport indoor training centre
We continue to need your support to help us develop this fine facility to its potential – either by supporting our GWR relay challenge in Sept or sponsoring some square metres of ground whenever you can with donations. We will be shortly erecting a large sign with sponsors names listed in-perpetuity. Anyone interested in sponsoring/donating should contact Michael Tobin at 087 6591879.
One of the great enablers for all of this is the freshly completed roadway leading into the facility. The County Council contractors wheeled up there last Thursday morning with an army of workers and construction equipment. Six hours later we have a fine properly-surfaced roadway leading the whole way down to the gates of our facility.
Great credit is due to our team of County Councillors from both the Athenry-Oranmore electoral area and the Loughrea electoral area for the above work as they funded it from their Notice of Motion allocations. Our facility is almost smack-bang on the border of the 2 areas and our members are equally divided in both areas. We got fantastic support from 14 councillors to contribute a total of €21,000 for the upgrading of the road. This was essential in order for the Council to take the road in charge and without the support of these councillors, it would not have happened. The club would greatly appreciate if you can thank these councillors if/when you get the opportunity. The support came from
- Moegie Maher (€2,500)
- Peter Feeney (€2,500)
- Michael Fahy (€2,000)
- Gerry Finnerty (€1,800)
- Joe Byrne (€1,800)
- Shane Donnellan (€1,800)
- Gabe Cronnelly (€1,500)
- Malachy Noone (€1,500)
- Sean Canney (€1,100)
- Anne Rabbitte (€1,000)
- Frank Kearney (€1,000)
- Jimmy McClearn (€1,000)
- Tim Broderick (€1,000)
- Martina Kinane (€500)
The club is very grateful to each and every one of these Councillors for their support as we know the pressures that each Councillor is under each year in regard to the allocation of these scarce funds. The club is particularly grateful for the extra contributions received at the last-minute from a number of Councillors when Cllr Pat Hynes had to withdraw his support due to other commitments. The club are fully aware of the fantastic work that the Councillors do and they do not always get the credit deserved for their efforts so please let’s give credit where credit is due and give your thanks to those you know or meet as without them, we would not have a public roadway into our facility. Their efforts on our behalf are a great example of teamwork from our public representatives across all political parties.