On Saturday 29th May, six Sports clubs will compete in the National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
This morning we highlight the claims of Kanturk Cycling Club, Raphoe Community Sports Development and Shankill Tennis Club, while tomorrow we will put forward the claims of South Dublin Taekwondo, Ballintubber GAA Club and Ratoath Athletics Club.
The National Lottery Good Causes Awards honour the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals from all over Ireland who with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes all over the country and funding from this source makes up a major part of the money distributed by the Government through Sport Ireland.
Earlier this month the National Lottery announced that it had passed the milestone of €6 Billion being raised for good causes since its inception 34 years ago.
Sport is one of six categories alongside Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, and Community and Youth.
Each category winner will receive €10,000 while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this. The winners will be announced at a virtual event hosted by Grainne Seoige live from the Mansion House on Saturday 29th May.
Kanturk Cycling Club
Since establishing in 1997, cyclists from Kanturk Cycling Club have competed at both national and international level.
While the Cork club is proud of its past and present cyclists who have competed at a professional level, including Sam Bennet at the Tour de France, they are determined to ensure that cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the sport at their club.
The club has over 60 members and is home to Ireland’s only Olympic size track. Funding has proved essential for the maintenance of the 250-metre outdoor track and has also allowed facilities to be upgraded to the necessary standard required for national and international competitions.
The track has been beneficial for the wider community as it attracts visitors from near and far to both train and compete.
Raphoe Community Sports Development
Raphoe Community Sports Development was established in 2013 with the intention of building a new football pitch in the area for all of the community to enjoy.
Prior to this, Raphoe never had a pitch of their own and played all their games on farm fields, a school pitch and most often, away from home.
The funding received allowed the Donegal club to build a playing pitch that would finally give their local teams a home ground to play on. The club has since trained new coaches and taken part in a Building Positive Clubs programme.
They have also played a part in numerous cross-community and cross-border peace initiatives over the years. The club is now home to over 160 active members and 16 teams of both male and female players.
Shankill Tennis Club
Shankill Tennis Club is devoted to ensuring every member of the community has access to tennis.
Six years ago, they started working with players with disabilities and since then, the club has created a National Programme called Enjoy Tennis which now has 1,200 players in 80 clubs all over Ireland.
The funding allowed the club to build an indoor centre, which they realised was necessary to meet the needs of all players and enable them to enjoy the game safely.
Players with a range of different needs including those who are blind or visually impaired, have an acquired brain injury, intellectual disability or autism, dementia or are in a wheelchair, can now safely enjoy a game of tennis at the club.
The judging panel was chaired by Nuala Carey, Lotto presenter, and also included Seamus Griffin, CEO of the Griffin Retail Group, Fergus Finlay, Columnist and Author, and Jennifer Crowe, CSR Manager of the National Lottery.
Join us tomorrow for the other three sports bodies up for the Award and on Monday when we reveal the winners.
The National Lottery is among more than 250+ members of the Sport for Business network of sporting and business organisations working together across a number of key areas.
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