The new sports pitch at Ardee Community School is coming along nicely – and as the project edges nearer completion, the school are set to hold a sponsored run to help raise funds needed for the project.
Work began on the new state-of-the-art pitch early last year, a project that will enable a greater number of teams and pupils at the school to participate in sporting activity than ever before.
The design of the pitch will facilitate high levels of usage throughout the entire year but it will be especially evident between September and May – during the academic year where boys and girls soccer, GAA and rugby teams will be training and competing in competition.
ThisIsArdee.ie visited the school this week to check out the new surface and the surface already looks resplendent, adjacent to the site of what will be a multi-million euro extension to the existing school building that work is due to commence on shortly.
“We are delighted with the huge support that we have received so far from local businesses, parents, pupils, clubs and public representatives for the project. Work is progressing very well and we are nearing completion,” pitch committee (pictured above) head Sean Moran told us.
“However, we need to continue with our fund-raising drive to close a remaining funding gap. We trust that the huge amount of goodwill that we have received so far will continue until we achieve our goal of a state-of-the art sports field on our doorstep. The sporting and health benefits arising from this development will be numerous and far reaching for countless generations of young people from our community.”
That is where the sponsored run comes in. “We hope that the whole community will get behind the fund-raising efforts of the pupils involved.”
The focus of the remaining fundraising efforts will be the sponsored run, which the school hope to hold in March. Relying on the efforts of the pupils, they will be assisted by their teachers to make the most of a vitally important fundraiser in ensuring the sports field can be completed to the highest standards.
“The sponsored run will be launched by Mr Rory Callan in the coming weeks and we are excited by the initiative,” Moran continued. “Not only will will it generate funds for our project but hopefully it will generate some enthusiasm among the entire student body for sustained participation in physical activities such as walking and running.
“The physical, mental, social and emotional benefits of this type of activity are so important and have the potential to make a huge positive difference to the wellbeing of our young people.”
The sports pitch committee are also hopeful that Louth GAA can support their efforts in some away, saying that the costs associated with the “GAA specific” components of the project – such as ball stops and goalposts – are significant. “We want to provide the best possible facilities for our children.”
To date, much of the money raised to pay for the new multi-use sports facility has come from the school’s ‘€2 Challenge Fundraiser’, in which those wishing to donate to the development fund are asked to to contribute a total of €60, which can be be paid in weekly installments of €2 over the course of the school year. Alternatively, persons can donate a monthly sum of €5 over 12 months or via a once-off payment of €60.
“People can still sign up to €2 challenge at any stage, all contributions big or small are welcome,” Moran told us.
As with any major new sports development, the benefits are plentiful and the new pitch in Ardee is no different. It will increase the number of school sports teams for both boys and girls in the school and encourage greater levels of participation in sports and physical activity among all of the students whilst also assisting the development of young players from numerous clubs that attend the school.
An arrangement is also in place to allow Square United to play their home games at the new pitch, leaving behind the field at the Monastery Boys NS. The ACS pitch will handle the winter weather much better than it’s current home and alleviate the fixture issues that arise from postponements due to weather and pitch condition.