Sports clubs in Ballinasloe received over €600k worth of sports capital grants announced by the Government in Spring. Due to unbelievable work from clubs, boards and volunteers– as it is a very competitive process and the work is in hours preparing a strong application- clubs in the community will now be able to upgrade their facilities for all their members to avail of.
The six clubs that received funding were Ballinasloe & District Tennis Club, Ballinasloe GAA, Ballinasloe Golf Club, Ballinasloe Rugby Club, Ballinasloe Snooker club, and Ballinasloe Town AFC. Galway County Council also received €150,000 for upgrading the changing facilities in Leisure Centre and Pool Complex. The news was met with great delight from all the sports administrators.
Stephen Kerr Secretary of Ballinasloe GAA explained: “We are getting €25,000 and it will be used to remove the old timber ball stop nets on existing 2 pitches which are over 14 years old and replace with them with Galvanised Octagonal Column Poles. We also intend on extending one of the existing nets which is adjacent to the main road as it is very dangerous with balls going out on the road. We need to raise around €15,000 ourselves. And we would estimate that it would cost approximate €2million in present-day costs to provide the existing current facilities.”
Johnny Walsh Club Development Co - ordinator of the Town AFC stated: “After securing a substantial €100,000 grant from the Sports Capital Programme, the Club Committee are currently finalising preparations for the next phase of Development Works at the Curragh Grounds. These works will involve a full upgrade of the astro turf pitches, new gates, perimeter fencing and ball retention netting at the astroturf pitches and upgrading of floodlights for the pitches.”
P.R.O. of the Tennis Club Garry Zancanaro also expressed the club’s delight at the news: “The grant will be used for the second stage of the development: groundworks, building a third court, lights and artificial surfaces for the three courts, security system, lighting and a small clubhouse/storage facility. Having started from zero last year, the first phase of groundworks and two tarmac courts cost €82,000 and was completed using another grant, our own funds from many years of fundraising, and a loan to cover the shortfall. The land is leased from Galway Council. We must raise €7,500 to match the grant.”
Golf Club board member Barry O’ Keefe also gave a statement on behalf of the club: “We were delighted that the Club was approved funding of €102,218. This grant is ring-fenced for course equipment and our ongoing drainage program. Work on the construction of buggy paths in the lower section of the course is also well underway and is due to complete before Easter. This will be a fantastic addition to the course meaning that all 18 holes will be accessible to persons using golf buggies. The parking facility for buggies beside the clubhouse is also being extended to account for the great buggy usage.”
Rugby Club PRO Kevin Keane stated: “Brilliant news for our club with the announcement of the Sport Capital Grants. We have been awarded €100,989 in grant aid under the scheme for the improvement and updating of the club facilities. A huge endorsement of the work being done in the club and its value to the local community. We are thrilled for everyone involved in the successful application.”
Ballinasloe Snooker Club also received €6,779 which will go towards upgrading their current facilities on Society St at the Emerald Ballroom.
The news is a very welcome boost to the area and adds to the list of nearly €15 million of Government investment in Sporting, Leisure and Amenity facilities under the Sports Capital Scheme over the past two decades.
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