National Lottery Good Causes Awards Sport and Recreation Finalists


EACH year, the National Lottery Good Causes Awards recognize the inspiring work and achievement of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals across Ireland.

With the help of funding from the National Lottery Bonnes Causes, they have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.

The money raised for these good causes is combined with central government funds and is used to co-finance the expenditure of various government departments on projects in sports and recreation, national culture, heritage, Irish language, the arts, health, community, youth, and the natural environment.

This year, 36 finalists compete in six categories: sport and recreation, health and wellness, heritage, arts and culture, community and youth.

A seventh category, the Irish language, will receive a special award to be announced at the awards final, in recognition of the exceptional work done in promoting the Irish language.

The overall winner will be announced later today at the annual Good Causes Awards, which will be held virtually this year at Dublin’s Mansion House, hosted by Grainne Seoige.

Here are the finalists in the Sport and Leisure category.

Raphoe Community Sports Development


RAPHOE Community Sports Development, based in Donegal, was established in 2013 with the aim of building a new soccer field in the area for the whole community to enjoy.

Before, the children and adults playing soccer for Raphoe had never had a home ground to play on. Over the years, the club had to use a football pitch at one of the local high schools. . . when it was available.

Players sometimes had to complete a full season playing all of their games away from Raphoe.

It’s amazing that such a busy club – in terms of the number of teams lined up in the Donegal Schoolboys League, Donegal Women’s League as well as the senior and minor teams – have survived for so many years without any field of Game.

The Raphoe Community Sport Development Committee decided that was enough and with funds raised by the National Lottery players, they began to work on the creation of a first-class soccer field in Raphoe.

It would be a game changer for the whole community to finally have a house.

Over the years, the club has produced many talented footballers and great teams.

The committee embarked on a new growth development program. They worked tirelessly with the local sports partnership to train new coaches and create initiatives within the club that would support the community at large.

This incredible club has taken part in many cross-border peace initiatives over the years and only hosted a reception project for Syrian refugees last year.

This club has flourished. From a small base of nine teams, it now has 16 teams for male and female players and over 160 active members.

Their ethics are wonderful, embracing the intercommunal principles of allowing everyone to participate in the sport.

Shankill Tennis Club


SHANKILL Tennis Club is an inclusive, community-driven organization that has gone the extra mile to make tennis accessible to everyone.

It aims to be a welcoming place and offers low-cost membership to socially disadvantaged groups.

The Dublin club have made a big commitment by building an indoor center, funded by National Lottery players, to meet the needs of players with disabilities, blind and low vision, acquired brain injuries, dementia, intellectual disability, autism and wheelchair users rolling.

This led to the creation of a national program called “Enjoy Tennis” for players with up to nine specific disabilities, a program that has grown in six years and now has 1,200 players playing tennis in 80 clubs. Irish.

Ratoath Athletic Club


FOUNDED in 1971, the Ratoath Athletic Club has always strived to instill a philosophy of participation in athletics, especially among the youth of the region.

With over 460 active members, from four year olds to senior citizens, Ratoath AC is growing alongside the growing population of the town of Co Meath.

The club is very proud of its members and has many top athletes who compete and win in the competitive circuits of Meath, Leinster, All-Ireland and European.

Funds raised by National Lottery players have helped Ratoath AC develop dedicated facilities that allow them to tailor training and development programs for their star athletes, but also develop innovative approaches to encourage all members. groups Young Athletics, Fit 4 Youth and Fit for Life, and to encourage residents to become as active as they can be and to live longer and healthier lives.

National Lottery funding helped Ratoath AC complete the facilities they had in place, with a 2000m blue tartan area that is suitable for a range of athletic events such as the 80m sprint / hurdles , the long jump, the high jump, a throw zone and a bodybuilding and conditioning section. .

The impact of this has been considerable, as an all-weather training facility means certainty and good training planning.

These facilities will clearly help the club build on its recent exceptional success. However, one of the beneficial spinoffs the club is envisioning is increased participation from the wider Ratoath community.

This new tartan space guarantees the availability of dedicated facilities throughout the year.

They intend to work with various local clubs and organizations to provide encouragement and guidance in a safe environment.

This will include the hangar for men and women, facilities for their disabled athletes, some based in the local independent living center and people with developmental disabilities.

Ballintubber GAA


The BALLINTUBBER GAA club has been around since the 1940s, giving the Ballintubber and Clogher Gaelic football teams to play and support ever since.

The Co Mayo club have won five of the seven senior county finals they have played, the first victory in 2010.

At the heart of the communities it represents, the club has been able to modernize its facilities at Ballintubber and Clogher, thanks to funds raised by the players of the National Lottery.

The benefits given to the community are incalculable. The facilities were run down and in poor condition, the Ballintubber pitch was not of standard size, there was no shelter or booth, and the changing rooms were old and in a very dilapidated condition.

Food services did not exist and there was nowhere to hold community meetings or host local organizations.

It has all been totally transformed with wonderful new facilities at both Ballintubber and Clogher.

Ballintubber GAA shares facilities with Carnacon Ladies LGFA, Bord na nÓg, Mothers and Others GAA, underage teams and other community groups such as Ballintubber Over 55s Club and Ballintubber Basketball.

The community nurse is also based in the complex and the facilities are available to anyone in the community wishing to hold meetings and functions.

They have also set up a community walkway that is used by young mothers when dropping off their children at the local school and the elderly who need a safe environment to exercise.

A gym has also been built for the local population to enjoy and an astroturf ground for young people and children.

The impact has been huge in their wonderful community. The facilities can now accommodate the superstars of the future as well as the elderly who can enjoy these grounds.

Kanturk Cycling Club


NOW one of Ireland’s most active clubs, the Kanturk Cycling Club was established 30 years ago in the Duhallow area of ​​Co Cork with only two members.

The club have enjoyed great success over the years, including national team and individual gold medals.

And if the club is particularly proud of the two members who currently race for professional teams, it is aimed at both social and competitive cyclists.

Funding for National Lottery players has been critical to Kanturk CC’s continued success, helping them improve their 250m outdoor track – the only Olympic track in Ireland.

This investment means that the Kanturk track meets national and international competition standards, used for both Munster and national competitions.

The track attracts visitors from everywhere, as well as training camps and competitions from U12 to U18 at the provincial and national levels.

Without the funding he would not have been able to complete the track and their goal now is to provide facilities for cyclists so that they can change during and after training and competition.

South Dublin Taekwondo


FOUNDED in 2008 by Robert Taaffe and Niamh Buffini, South Dublin Taekwondo is a WTF (Olympic Style) taekwondo club.

This wonderful club, based in Tallaght, Dublin, is funded by membership subscriptions and teaches people of all ages and experiences of this Korean martial art.

The club practices all disciplines of WTF taekwondo and is a “multi-purpose” club that emphasizes kyorugi and poomsae as well as other martial arts disciplines.

The club has around 80 members, including one student qualified to compete in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, and their coaches are also national team coaches.

To date, South Dublin Taekwondo has achieved many successes and achieved its goal of developing players to compete at all levels, from novice level to national team level, from three to 58 years old, covering gender and the ethnic mix.

Funds raised by National Lottery players enabled this club to purchase electronic scoring equipment as well as 300 martial arts mats, which were a huge asset.

This equipment is very expensive and they usually only have the option of using it when the club goes to international tournaments.

The club and their club friends now have full access to this equipment.

South Dublin taekwondo has seen a massive increase in performance and ability and has been a major determining factor for taekwondo to secure its very first Olympic qualification for Tokyo 2021.

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