Ballyhaunis Community Sports Hub provides Inclusive Opportunities for All

Posted in Connect on January 29, 2016.

Following an identified need for a cricket practice area and to provide increased inclusive opportunities for participation in the Ballyhaunis area an application was made by Mayo Sports Partnership to Sport Ireland for Dormant Account funding towards a Community Sports Hub. This application was made in collaboration with the Ballyhaunis Sports Network which includes representatives from agencies, local community groups and clubs.

Funding of €90,000 for the Ballyhaunis cricket practice area was secured through Mayo Sports Partnerships successful application and was announced by Minister of State for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring in July 2015. Collaboration with the parks superintendent Peter Gill of Mayo County Council ensured that the cricket development, the first of its kind by a local authority in the Republic of Ireland, could be added to the recreational amenities ie Multi Use Games Area and playground developed in 2015 at the Maples in Ballyhaunis. Overall the investment by Mayo County Council in this project is in the region of €175,000 and is a fantastic example of a local project delivered through partnership by agencies and the local community. While this sports / physical activity hub is located in the Maples it will be open to the entire Ballyhaunis neighbourhood and will be managed by Mayo County Council.

Performing the official opening of this valuable recreation resource on Friday Minister of State for Sport and Tourism Michael Ring highlighted the uniqueness and the collaborative nature of this project.

“ Providing opportunities for all members of our community to play sport in a safe environment is what initiatives such as the Ballyhaunis Sports Hub is about. I was delighted to secure the funding for this facility.

“I am also delighted that members of Ballyhaunis Cricket Club will have a top class facility to practice and hone their skills to the highest level” Minister Ring added.
Director of Services for the Claremorris Municipal area Paddy Mahon also spoke highly of the partnership theme commenting:

“ Mayo County Council is delighted to be involved with Sport Ireland, Mayo Sports Partnership and Cricket Ireland, with the support of Minister Ring, in developing the new cricket practice facility at Ballyhaunis. The Council believes that the strong and genuine partnerships that are involved in Ballyhaunis will contribute significantly to a positive and inclusive sporting environment for the area in general”.

Through the Dormant Account funding an additional allocation of €23,000 was provided for participation and training programmes to encourage people in the area to become more active. Mayo Sports Partnership Sports Hub Co-ordinator Anne Ronayne has been busy with programmes such as Men on the Move, Couch to 5K, Operation Transformation Walk, 2nd Year Healthy Living Programme in Ballyhaunis Community School, Youth Sport Leadership amongst Transition Years and the Goal to Work Sports Coach Training Programme which is providing coaching opportunities for 12 jobseekers in the Ballyhaunis area. These coaches, who have received coach education in cricket, basketball, hurling and soccer, will shortly be embarking on a 4 week primary school placement programme to put their skills in to practice. It is also planned to host a children’s community sports camp over mid term.

Other actions planned for the sports hub over the coming months include Ballyhaunis Have a Go Sports Day, Ballyhaunis Sports Awards evening, beginner cycling programmes, assisting the development of basketball and other clubs, an after school sports camp, develop a walking club and further cricket coaching sessions or taster days.

Mayo Sports Partnership Chairman Cllr Brendan Mulroy praised all the partners involved in bringing inclusive sporting opportunities to Ballyhaunis stating:

“Mayo Sports Partnership is delighted to work with local clubs, groups, schools and agencies to increase physical activity opportunities for all and we hope to further develop the sports hub in the coming months”

The collaboration between Mayo County Council, Cricket Ireland, Sport Ireland and Mayo Sports Partnership on behalf of the Ballyhaunis Sports Network has been instrumental in getting this project to the stage it is at today. It is planned that further investment in the Ballyhaunis Sports Hub through the Dormant Accounts will occur in 2016 and Mayo Sports Partnership will be instrumental in applying for this to Sport Ireland.

Mayo Sports Partnership and the Ballyhaunis Sports Network are eager to work with local groups and organisations who would like to get involved in the development of the Sports Hub so if interested please contact either Anne Ronayne Mayo Sports Partnership at 094-9047022 email: or Anne Cunnane Ballyhaunis Chamber of Commerce at 094 9630311 email: .

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