A huge 'Thank You' to all who came along to our first Fit Town meetup last week – it is great to see there is an appetite for new initiatives in the town and a genuine interest in working together. As promised I am attaching a copy of the presentation which hopefully will help you get a clearer understanding of the Fit Town concept and how you can get involved. Just a few points to note;
- Target Groups are a key element of the Fit Town project so it is important when you are planning your event(s) that you connect with the appropriate organisation(s) e.g. Disability – Brothers of Charity, Mental Health – GELS or HSE, Disadvantaged – Junction Project. If you require additional contact details or assistance please get in touch with us directly and we will be happy to help put you in touch with the key contact.
- Insurance Galway Sports Partnership confirmed verbally that insurance cover is the responsibility of participating organisations. If you intend running an event(s) we would advise you contact your insurance company in advance to ensure your policy is valid. From their experience with other groups last year this was not an obstacle to participation.
- Timelines With Christmas looming we are working with tight timelines and closing date for receipt of completed applications is Wednesday 9th December. We have scheduled a ‘Drop in’ /Review meetup for that evening in Gullanes Hotel from 6.30 – 8.30 pm, to provide groups with the opportunity to review their application with the Team and address any outstanding issues or queries. If you need any assistance between now and then please do not hesitate to contact us. Also, if you manage to get your application to us before that date all the better!
We are encouraging all Groups/Clubs/Organisations/Schools and Businesses to get involved in some way with the Fit Town Project. It is another positive initiative that will bring so many benefits to the entire community with a little help from us all. With that in mind we ask that you make every effort to promote the project over the next few weeks to ensure we bring all members of the Community with us on the journey that is ‘Fit Town 2016’!
Many thanks once again for all your support and enthusiasm.
Noel Mannion, Marion Ruane, Lyn Donnelly, Eoin Hurley, Laura Finn - Fit Town Team.
Due to a high demand in requests, the Town Team have agreed to EXTEND the deadline of submissions for the People of the Year Awards until Wednesday, October 14th at 10am.
Under the umbrella of BACD Ltd a “Town Team” has been formulised in conjunction People and Places Ltd in the UK. The Town Team is made up of a spectrum of volunteers across the business and community sectors covering Ballinasloe and its full hinterland.
Following publication of the Town Benchmarking Report, the town team are striving to carry out both short-term and long-term actions to ultimately improve & revitalize Ballinasloe and its hinterland. These awards are one of the projects being carried out under the bench marking process, with the aim to acknowledge the tremendous amount of voluntary work carried out in Ballinasloe which forms the backbone of our community.
In Association with Ballinasloe Credit Union
Supported by Shearwater Hotel & Ballinasloe Town Team
Town Team Mission Statement
“Our vision is to revitalize the town and its hinterland, enabling it to achieve its true potential, by creating awareness of all the positive assets we currently have in the townland and identifying new initiatives that will enhance and expand on what we already have.
To encourage positive suggestions and interaction from all local sporting, cultural, voluntary, agricultural, educational and retail groups, along with local, regional and national agencies by progressing ideas and actions together and working in co-operation with one another.
We will prioritise attainable objectives that will rejuvenate our town and help it achieve its true potential, making Ballinasloe a better place in which we live and rear our children - and foster a friendly competitive sustainable town to do business in and visit”
Many voluntary groups and individuals make invaluable contributions to our community. Our wish is that such people are formally recognised so that we can publicly acknowledge their efforts and achievements. It is also our wish to honour very special and talented individuals or groups who have achieved excellence and represented our community nationally or internationally.
Thank you to our Main Sponsor Ballinasloe Credit Union. The event is also being supported by the Shearwater Hotel and the town team.
The 2015 People of the Year Awards will acknowledge outstanding people and organisations who, through their commitment to participating in community and voluntary activities, have had a positive and significant impact on the quality of life of their communities in Ballinasloe.
There are so many people making a difference in our community this is an opportunity to formally recognise their achievements under the format of People of the Year Awards. We encourage you to please put their names forward for an Award.
What are the People of the Year Awards?
The Awards recognise and celebrate the voluntary work that individuals, groups, organisations & schools contribute to their community. There are 7 Award categories in total. We are now seeking nominations for each Award category.
What are the 7 Categories?
1. Social and Community Support Award
This category covers a broad spectrum of activity from voluntary groups and individuals who work with specific groups such as people with disabilities, the elderly and people less fortunate that others. This award acknowledges those who contribute significantly to the fabric of our community.
2. Arts, Cultural and Heritage Award
This category recognises the contribution of individuals, schools and groups to the continuing development of the Arts, Culture & Heritage in Ballinasloe. It covers a wide range of activities and events that contribute to the enhancement of the quality of life in Ballinasloe.
3. Sports and Recreation Award
This category recognises individuals or groups in Ballinasloe who give their time voluntarily to support and encourage participation in sport and other recreation activities. This Award also includes specific sports teams and individuals who have excelled in their chosen sport and represented their town with distinction. Sports and Recreation is important in creating a healthier lifestyle for the whole community.
4. Young Person’s Award
This category recognises the contribution that young people make in our community, through their work within different community groups. It also acknowledges the achievements of individuals or groups who proudly represent Ballinasloe in sporting, cultural or community events. (Age Limit 18 or under).
5. Civic Pride Award
This category recognises voluntary individuals, resident associations and other groups in Ballinasloe that have shown a sense of civic pride within their community by undertaking a wide range of activities in their local area that has made a difference and who continue to work towards making Ballinasloe a better place to live.
6. Community Group Special Recognition Award
This category recognises voluntary groups and individuals that have made a special contribution to life in Ballinasloe and hinterland through the works which they have undertaken which may be deemed to go above and beyond the normal call of duty. It may be in respect of ongoing work, or specific project that has made a significant impact on their community and its people.
7. Hall of Fame Award
This category recognises individuals from Ballinasloe whom have achieved excellence and are successful in the field of either sporting, professional, business, entrepreneurial or artistic endeavours.
How do I Nominate?
1.There is one nomination form for all categories. Click HERE to download it a .pdf version. For a version in MS Word, click HERE.
2. You state which category you are making the nomination on the form.
3. You can make a nomination by downloading the nomination form, completing it and emailing or posting it back.
4. Read the questions carefully. Section A is information regarding the group or person being nominated. Section B is information regarding the persons making the nomination. Each nomination requires a proposer and a seconder to validate the nomination
5. You may submit extra information. The assessment will be based on the information provided on the form and any extra information given.
6. Closing date for receipt of nomination forms is 10am Wedesday 14th October 2015.
What Happens then?
1. The Awards will be independently assessed after the closing date and winners will be chosen.
2. All Shortlisted nominees will be invited to The People of the Year Awards Ceremony on the evening of the 12th of November 2015 where the winners will be announced and presented with their Awards.
What is the Prize?
All Shortlisted Nominees from each Category will be presented with a Scroll of Achievement and each category winner will be presented with a specially commissioned prestigious Award.
Are there any Conditions?
The following conditions apply:
1. The People of the Year Awards will be held on Thursday, 12th of November 2015 in The Shearwater Hotel. The nominees must be present on the night where the winners will be announced.
2. Groups and individuals may nominate themselves.
3. Nominations will only be considered on the official nomination form and received by the closing date on Wednesday October 14th 2015.
4. Nomination forms to be either submitted typed on the downloaded form and emailed to the email address given, or posted/dropped in to Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre.
5. For queries please contact:
Ballinasloe Enterprise Centre
Tel: 090 9646516
Deadline for receipt of Nominations is 10am Wednesday October 14th 2015
Little Mark Dolan and his Wish To Walk campaign received a huge boost this weekend when All Ireland finalists Padraic and Cathal Mannion from the local Ahascragh club dropped into to see Mark and pledge their support to his cause. The two brothers, who have celebrity status in these parts as hurling fever grabs the County, took Mark to the local GAA pitch and posed for photos. They also signed a hurley to be used at an auction in the village to help raise funds for Mark's life-changing surgery.
In just two weeks time Mark, along with his parents Fidelma and Kevin Dolan, will board a plane to St Loius, Missouri in the USA where they will attend a clinic ran by DR TS Park, a neurosurgeon, who specialises in Mark's condition and has performed numerous SDR surgeries on Irish children over the years. The family will have to stay in St Louis for up to five weeks whilst Mark undergoes surgery. The first surgery will take place just three days after their arrival and will last for six hours which will be distressing for the little three year old boy and parents alike.
Having got through the surgery the next 72 hours for Mark is critical in order for the surgery to be successful. During this period his parents, working in shifts, will have to keep Mark lying still on his back with total restriction of movement which will be severe on all parties. Having got over this critical period brave Mark will more than likely proceed to a second surgery to have the muscles in his legs loosened again. Following on from this the family will spend four further weeks in intensive physio programmes to prepare Mark for the long journey home.
Meanwhile back home Marks Wish to Walk campaign and its hard-working committee are still busy raising funds to cover the enormous costs of Mark's Journey.
Campaign chairman Seamus Concannon explained to the Irish Independent that the campaign and the good will of the local people were determined to fund as much of the enormous costs of Mark's journey which in all will total close to €120,000. He pointed out that Mark's journey was a long one which started just under a year ago with the three times weekly visit to the clinic in Limerick which has so far cost the family €15,000. He also explained that when Mark steps off the plane from Missouri he faces a further two years care in the clinic in Limerick which is vital to his recovery and this will cost a further €30,000. €65,000 approx will go towards the surgery and flights,and accommodation and extras make up the balance.
The chairman added that the campaign to date had exceeded all expectations and that after five weeks that just under €80,000 had been raised. This as been achieved by a small but vibrant community coming together as one and reaching out to its friends and colleagues further afield. Donations have been received from as little as two euro from the Facebook Challenge to up to €10,000 for a fundraiser by a family cousin Mary Anderson Gorman who shaved her long golden hair in a pub in her native Ferbane.
All sort of events have been held locally, such as waxathons, Church gate collections, bog walks, quiz nights, raffles, auctions, tea parties, car washes, dances, pony races and the lists goes as as the general public go all out to fulfil Mark's dream. The generosity and sacrifices people have made have overwhelmed his parents, and this campaign only highlights what a wonderful Nation we are when it comes to a worthy cause. His parents and committee along with local parish priest Fr Kevin Reynolds are holding a special Mass of GRATITUDE AND HOPE on Tuesday 15th September at 8pm in St Cuan’s Church Ahascragh just before the family leave for the USA to pray for little Marks safe journey and for the family to show Gratitude to the hundreds and indeed thousands of people who have joined in this campaign.
Who knows, next Monday 7th the Mannion brothers, accompanied by a certain Mr Liam McCarthy, may call in to Ahascragh once again and join in on MARK'S WISH TO WALK!
Mark's journey has been a long one - to read more about it you can download his story so far here
And for further updates or to see how you can help please like and visit Mark's Wish to Walk Facebook Page
The 30th of August 2015 is a date I’ll never forget as long as I live… the Miles for Emma 4 peak Challenge was our second event to promote Equality and awareness for Children with Special Needs and unlike the last time it was an early start with a 4:45am alarm call to be on the road for 5:30am. The drive from Ballinasloe to Westport was filled with anticipation, nervousness, determination… basically a host of emotions…
We arrived at the foot of the Mountain for 7:30am where I was greeted by those who had arrived before us and was quickly followed by a host of other climbers and even at that early hour we had a strong contingent with over 24 climbers… 3 were already on the mountain having started at 6am and were soon to be followed by the Official first wave at 8am…
The first ascent was an enjoyable experience the fact it was such a beautiful morning… spirits were high and with a group of first time climbers in tow you could feel the excitement in the air… and even though there is nothing easy about climbing Croagh Patrick… We all reached the summit in good time and good form where even a little bit of Hurling was enjoyed with a sliotar or two been driven off the Mountain… you never know it might bring us a bit of Luck next Sunday…
The first descent was one of mixed styles with some of us throwing all caution to the wind and running down while a few others took the safer option of correct foot placement.We landed back in the Car park just in time to welcome our latest arrivals which included a group from the Ballinasloe Cycle club who had just completed the 130km trip from Ballinasloe to climb the reek and would have the return cycle on completion of their climb… our next arrivals was our first Bus load form Ballinasloe which was organised by Tommie Costello of Cuckoo hill at this stage now our numbers were starting to swell and a sea of Purple was starting to emerge at the foot of the mountain.
After a half an hour break and a few photos we started off on our second ascent joined by our latest editions… By now we had both adults and kids climbing side by side all decked out in Purple and it was starting to look very impressive as the colour purple could be seen quite evidently on the Mountain as each group climbed at their own pace… The weather turned a small bit on the second climb but it was short lived and was not our biggest discomfort as we were unfortunately joined by another group on the mountain “midges” they couldn’t take the hint that they weren’t welcome and seemed to be waiting in the first section of the climb ready to hijack climbers on both there ascent and descent… But never the less that didn’t stop us…On our way down off the top for a second time we would be met by our second Bus load on the way up… The Scarriff Foroige group who travelled the whole way from Co. Clare to Support Miles for Emma we also met a load of other supporters who had decided on a later start time. This included Grannie, Maeve and Co who had cycled up the day before in preparation for Sunday.
As we entered the car park for a second time the task in hand was starting to take its toll… for some the adventure was over with either one of two climbs under there belts they called it a day in saying that it was still and unbelievable achievement in its own right… But for some of us it was time to prep and get ready to face the mountain for a 3rd time… as I nursed a blister on my right foot I have to say I questioned my own sanity but as I’ve said so many times when it comes to events that ship left the port years ago… as I sat in my car fuelling the body for what I believed would be my last ascent I felt a real sense of achievement… not at what I had done thus far but the event as a whole…
I have to say seeing all those T-shirts on the mountain made me feel so proud and with the reaction we were receiving from fellow climbers who showed a real genuine interest in what we were doing proved we had in some way got our message of Equality and Awareness for Children with Special needs out there…
This was what got me to my feet and pushed me towards those infamous steps that lead to the Statue of St Patrick where on this occasion I actually gave the big man a Thumbs up as I Passed… I don’t know why maybe it was a subconscious request for the strength to get up and down again in one piece… I didn’t push this time stopping to chat with all my fellow Miles for Emma Climbers on their way down and anyone else who showed interest in what we were doing… Once I reached the top of the first section which I would just like to highlight was the one section I hated the most… a second breath kicked in and was flying it again… at this point I came across the Stone writings where Sinead, Eoin and Daithi had climbed down to write Miles 4 Emma in rocks… I won’t lie… Very emotional..!!
I pushed on meeting a multitude of Purple decked out climbers all delighted to have been on the mountain all delight to do their bit to help promote our cause...!! On reaching the Summit for the 3rd time I met up with Aiden Morrissey who would be the first person to climb the reek 4 times… after a photo or two with Aiden he would enjoy his final descent with his little niece Matilda… I did my normal run down meeting a few late arrivals who were climbing for the first time and our 6am starters Emma and her crew who were on their 4th and final ascent…
I won’t lie that on my way down that 3rd time I did contemplate turning and going back up and as I popped from rock to stone I had a quite lively debate about the pros and cons of going back up in my head… But I knew I was Tired and that the blister on my foot would just make it twice as uncomfortable and I also had the mindset that if anything went wrong it would have ruined everything and I didn’t want to take the shine off the day so I decided to call it a day.. I convinced my self that the fact I had climbed the mountain last Thursday in my Miles for Emma T-shirt added to the 3 climbs on Sunday… that gave me 4…!! After eight and a half hours of which I had spent seven and a half on the Mountain I Stopped.
Over 140 Miles for Emma Supporters climbed Croagh Patrick On Sunday the 30th Of that total 6 completed the 4 climbs 4 completed 3 climbs 9 completed 2 climbs.We also had a host of individual who climbed the Mountain for the first Time…
One Word “SUCCESS”
I’ve collected a load of photos from our climbers and with our favourite photographer Kaisa whose album is available here, I hope you can all relive and enjoy what was in a word a SPECIAL day..!!
On behalf of Myself, Michelle, Claire and the Little Miss her self Emma..!!
Thank You… See you all at our next adventure..2016
Ken Campbell — at Croagh Patrick.
By Ken Campbell
Some Photos from the event
If you haven't seen this, it's definitely worth the watch! Great work by Mike Riddell & Kevin Murray who perfectly captured the atmosphere and the great turn out at Ballinasloe's first Darkness into Light event on May 9th 2015. For more information on how you can get involved visit dil.pieta.ie
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