independent

Sunday 22 October 2017

Cricket takes centre stage at family fun day

Cranmore residents take pride in their estate for fun day out

Jenny McCudden

Cranmore and cricket don't exactly go together but last Saturday during the annual family fun day there were plenty of people trying their hand at the centuries old colonial sport.

The estate soccer pitch was a sea of white as expert cricketers including an international star introduced the game to an impressionable young audience.

Community Development Officer and life long Cranmore resident Sue Mahon agreed that 'this is not something you see every day.'

"We are trying to introduce the kids to different sports, not just GAA and soccer. The County Sligo Cricket Team are here today and our guest coach is international cricket player Craig Young. Sligo Sports Partnership suggested the idea and we were delighted," says Sue.

She then stresses: "We are always looking to build the community from the outside in, and what better way to do that than to bring people here and show them what a great place Cranmore can be."

Saturday was certainly a good day to be in the estate, the biggest in the North West. The annual family fun day is a highlight on the Cranmore calendar. Now in its 14th year the event is always well attended.

"There's face-painting, multi-sports for the kids, a DJ, a bbq and a prize giving ceremony," explains Sue. The various accolades from best garden to best kept street provoke a healthy dose of competition every year.

"We would have over 100 entries for Best Kept Garden. Some of the gardens here are like hidden gems," says Sue.

Walking through Cranmore those landscaped patches of colour and greenery do stand out. Around 45 percent of the 400 or so houses here are now owner occupied, with a large proportion of older settled residents.

The area is undergoing a major re-generation programme and that doesn't happen in an area without problems as Sue says: "In reality we would not be under regeneration if there were not issues but we have come a long way as an estate. There are about 1,500 people living here. There used to be 2,500 but 75 houses were knocked in 2009. We now have more space and the that area will get a new community centre and possibly a small retirement village."

A proud Cranmore native, Sue raised her four children here who all 'turned out alright.' And she believes the future is bright too for the children of Cranmore today. Who know, maybe one of them will follow in the footsteps of Craig Young and bat for their country one day!

"This is a disadvantaged area, there is still high unemployment and low education uptake but we have embraced regeneration and are working hard to change that." Sue says.

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