Monday 7th September will go down as a special date in the history of St. Joseph’s GAC. Fittingly, over 100 young people from our nursery to Under 12 groups and their coaches were the first to take to our new training facility, enjoying a great session under the state of the art floodlights. Long gone are the days of a muddy training pitch, too soft in the winter, too hard in the summer, with floodlights pointing in one direction and a serious slope to contend with.
Phase 1 of our facility development began on our main playing field in 2015 with rejuvenated playing area, lighted walking track, new substitute and official’s area and electronic scoreboard. This allowed us to move on to Phase 2 with the floodlit training facility and soon to be completed Community Social Zone and Ball Skills Wall.
We hope that this endeavour will secure the future of our Club and that the young people participating tonight will avail of the pitch for decades to come.
A note of thanks to Ciaran Hanna of Hanna and Hutchison Consultant Engineers Ltd. for his expertise and guidance throughout both phases of development. Thanks also to McAvoy Construction for doing an outstanding job and working to assist the Club over the course of the project. Special thanks to the Whitemountain and Aughrim Programmes and LCCC Peace IV for helping to make it possible.
Photos are courtesy of Bert Trowlen, who once again captured the occasion perfectly.
These images will live long in the memory. Thanks also to Dan’s Fruit and Veg for supplying a healthy snack for the players and Ballymacrickett P.S. for the water bottles.
Finally, special thanks to all of those Club members involved in this project from the outset. Hours of planning, fundraising, grant applications and meetings can take its toll. But as is often noted, the biggest strength of the GAA is that of the volunteer. It is success like this that shows this to be patently true. Future generations may not fully comprehend how much it takes to reach these goals. But it provides an enormous sense of contentment to those involved today to know that those who come after will have a solid foundation upon which to grow further.
An official opening will occur next year when we can hopefully celebrate as a whole Club once again.