As the Rugby season gets into full swing, 2019 draws to a close. It’s been an eventful year at the club with everything from a Ministerial visit to a rip-roaring Barn Dance. The 2018/19 season ended with success across the board that resulted in a huge haul of silverware including league and cup doubles in both boys and girls sections. Credit must go to the players, coaches and parents for their work and support throughout the year. Connacht Rugby President Mossy Moran officially opened the AstroTurf at their end of season night.
The facilities in the club are as good if not better than you’ll find in Connacht and beyond and are often complimented by visiting teams. 2019 saw another addition to the club facilities, the 3G floodlit AstroTurf pitch. It was the brainchild of previous committees down through the years but this year saw the fruits of their labour. With rugby being a winter sport, training sessions often fall foul inclement weather but not any longer. It will also be available for hire to other local sports groups who wish to use it.
The AGM was well attended and saw the election of a new committee and the selection of the new Club President. Tom Waters took up the mantle from Tom Horkan who served the club as President for the previous two seasons. Summer brought the sunshine thankfully and of course the Summer Camp. Over 100 children enjoyed a week of rugby and fun under the guidance of the coaches which culminated in the visit of new Connacht signing John Porch, having coached the kids in various sports. Summer also brought success with the mixed tag rugby side representing Ballinasloe and winning the All-Ireland Community Games Final. The success within the club was reflected on the Provincial and International scene with players being called up to represent the Province and Country in all grades. These successes are due in no small part to the high standard and dedicated coaches within the club. It also had the pleasure of hosting Minister of State Mr. Brendan Griffin and Senator Maura Hopkins who paid a visit to the club grounds to view the new AstroTurf which was part funded by his department as part of the Sports Capital Grant Scheme. They also toured the facilities and were well satisfied that the money was put to good use.
The club had a sombre time over the summer with the sad and sudden passing of two club stalwarts, Sean Brookes and Tom Purcell. Both men were long time members of the club from playing, coaching, committee members and club Presidents. They will be sorely missed within the club, the wider community and their families. Fundraising is an integral part of the club and is needed on an ongoing basis to fund club activities. This year was no exception with a table quiz, Last Person Standing, Golf Classic, bag packing, fashion show. This year had the addition of a monster Barn Dance which was held in September in partnership with the Musical Society and it was a fantastic night. This Christmastime the Club will hopefully host the annual Sean Flynn Cup Challenge at 2.00 pm on Stephen’s Day and there will be revelry till late for locals and exiles alike. For further updates on Club Activities see their Facebook Page – Ballinasloe Rugby Club
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