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Saturday 20 September 2014

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Published 12/07/2014 | 12:00

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ADAMSTOWN ATHLETICS Club has received a funding boost of €5,000 in this year's round of capital sports funding.

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The money will enable the 71 members of the club to train indoors throughout winter with new Sports Hall Athletic programme equipment including foam hurdles, tunnels, reverse boards and foam javelins.

The club ran a programme with senior students of St Abban's NS earlier in the year and three teams from the school managed to reach the national finals in March.

The club had to borrow equipment to train the students so its committee decided to submit a €6,250 grant around this time.

Club Chairperson Marie Louise Byrne said: 'The funding will go a long way. The equipment we'll get will be used not only by club members but also by 3rd to 6th class students at the local school.'

Ms Byrne said members can't train outdoors during the winter so the new indoor equipment will be invaluable.

She said: 'We really need to vary what we can do with the groups who train three times a week. They have been doing Sports Hall Athletics programmes in the UK for years and the likes of Mo Farah have graduated from them.'

The club's 71 members hail from Adamstown, Newbawn, Raheen and Clonroche.

'This year we have seen a growth in our membership because of the sports hall programme because it's done in conjunction with the school. We train the school team and we've eight members going to the All Ireland,' Ms Byrne added.

The club bought high jump equipment in recent years and often run Leinster and All Ireland events at the community hall.

Ms Byrne said:' We are going to meet the regional development officer for Athletics Ireland shortly and Sports Active Wexford to plan ahead.'

ST. JAMES'S GAA CLUB

CHANGING OUTDOORS in the rain or in the handball alley will be a thing of the past for teams playing at St James's (Ramsgrange) GAA Club, after it received €80,000 in capital sports funding for new dressing rooms this week.

Having had to endure years without proper changing facilities, the 400-plus boys and girls and men and women of the club and visiting teams can look forward to more suitable dressing rooms within the next 18 months.

Club treasurer Charles O'Leary said: 'We are very thankful to Minister Paul Kehoe and the Government for affording us the opportunity with this grant to improve the facilities of this club and to bring it up to the standard where it should be.'

Having applied for €200,000 for the dressing rooms, a meeting room and a kitchen, the club, which is based at Mersheen, Duncannon, will now embark on a fundraising drive to make enough to complete the works.

Mr O'Leary said the club has €25,000 in reserve so at least an additional €15,000 will be required to carry the dressing room works, which are a top priority for the club.

'We have a serious shortage of dressing rooms, only two, and we have up to 12 teams, as well as visiting teams coming here. We could have three matches going on at the same time any given weekend so people end up changing in the handball hall, in the handball changing rooms and out back.'

Mr O'Leary said the clubs members come from a large hinterland taking in Ramsgrange, Arthurstown, Battlestown and Ballyhack.

The club, which counts two senior county captains among its members, namely Graham Molloy (football) and Matthew O'Hanlon (hurling), has three playing pitches and a small children's pitch and a recent addition is a walking track around the pitch.

Mr O'Leary said: 'The club is over the moon with the funding because it's something the club needs badly. Given the current climate having everyone separate when they are changing is a concern especially with young children. All that we and parents want is for everything to be above board. On top of that we have away teams coming to play so it's important we have the proper, basic facilities.'

DUNCANNON FC

THE ANNOUNCEMENT of €20,000 in capital sports grant funding for Duncannon FC will mean all three of the club's pitches will now be fully lighted throughout the winter.

Welcoming the news, club vice chairperson, Padraig Doran said: 'We're delighted to get the funding because it will give everyone at the club better facilities.'

Currently only one of the club's three pitches has lighting, so the €20,000 will enable the club to purchase lighting for the two remaining fields.

The 183 member club has been growing rapidly in recent years with 48 new children joining up this year for the U6 team.

Duncannon FC's committee submitted an application for €25,000 and were delighted to receive €20,000.

Mr Doran said: 'We badly needed better lighting facilities for training during the winter. We have 11 teams so the extra lighting will take the pressure off the main pitch which has been damaged in the past from all the use.'

He said the club, which has been running since 1976, has a catchment area stretching out to Ramsgrange, Duncannon, Ballyhack, Shielbaggan and surrounding areas.

Mr Doran said: 'Times are getting tougher and you hate always having to always approach local businesses for funding.'

The club plans to run a number of tournaments over the summer including two memorial events in memory of former club members, Gary Kelly and Jimmy Meyler.

'We're going to do a number of tournaments during the summer. We've the Jimmy Meyler Memorial event coming in over the next few weeks and then we've the Gary Kelly Memroial Pub Tournament. We get great support locally but it's getting harder and harder to keep approaching the same local people for money.'

Duncannon FC also got a €1,750 arts and amenity grant from Wexford County Council recently with which they will purchase new training equipment, footballs, bibs and cones.

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