On the beautiful evening of April 16th last all roads led to the scenic village of Goatenbridge, the home of Ballybacon Grange GAA Club, where a little piece of local history was made. The evening blessed with sunshine, promised to be a great occasion and one to remember for some time to come, and it proved to be everything it promised.
“Camán and Try It” was the catch phrase for the evening and the local girls and boys rallied in force. The main purpose of the evening was to increase the numbers playing both hurling and camogie with the club. The response was outstandingly positive. Also the night incorporated the official launch of the juvenile camogie club, established in January 2013. A first in the long history of a proud Ballybacon Grange Hurling Club which nestles scenically under the majestic Knockmealdown mountains.
After many weeks of planning and organising the night had arrived. Spare helmets and hurleys, kindly given on loan from the Camogie development officer and both primary schools in the parish, Ardfinnan and Grange. With the club colours flying high all over the field and the music playing we were ready to go. Nothing could have prepared us for what happened next.
They came from the four corners of the parish and beyond. We had approximately 170 boys and girls in the field participating, which surpassed all our hopes and expectations. It was an amazing sight to behold. Everyone justifiably felt so proud.
A lot of the senior hurlers/coaches with the club gave their time to help with the skills for the boys and girls, which was fantastic and helped make the night the success it was. Thanks a million guys!
After the training session, refreshments were served and each child received a certificate of participation and a welcome goodie bag.
Our invited guest, Joe Cahill the county camogie chairman addressed the large crowd, complimenting the club on a hugely successful evening, and launch. He said “it was an amazing sight to drive down over the bridge and see such colour and such a crowd.” He wished the club future success.
Club Chairperson Jackie Walsh thanked everyone for coming and hoped they would return the following week as these young people are the future of our club and game.
Camogie Club Chairperson Grainne O’Leary thanked the Hurling Club for their tremendous support as without it the camogie club may not have flourished at all.
Also on the night the camoige club were presented with a new set of jerseys, kindly sponsored by Pa O’Gorman of Pa O’Gorman Engineering and Project Management. Some ‘Player of the Week’ trophies and first aid bags were kindly sponsored by Colette Condon of Colette’s Unisex Hair Salon Goatenbridge.
We cannot thank everyone enough for their help. The Hurling Club for helping us organise this great event and their full support. People who made the posters and went to the schools. Thanks to all the staff in Grange and Ardfinnan N.S. for their assistance with the undertaking and also for providing helmets. Thanks also to those who set up the pitch and thosee who baked the cakes and made the tea and indeed everyone who spread the word and helped in any way. It was such a proud and complete community effort.
April 16 2013 was hopefully just the first chapter in a very long future for the Ballybacon Grange Juvenile Hurling and Camogie club and the road ahead certainly looks bright.
You can stay in touch on our Facebook page or contact our juvenile secretary Rosaleen O’Leary on 086 8279038 if you are interested in getting involved.
(See next week’s issue of ‘The Nationalist’ for more images from the recent launch)