An exciting new era in north Kildare sport is just about to begin.
Last weekend, Le Cheile Athletics Club began moving its operation to a new area at publicly owned Leixlip Amenities Centre.
The club was preparing to start using its new 400m eight lane all weather track.
It has been a long time coming and when we visited the new arena on 9 July, Richard McCarthy, the club’s Development Co-Ordinator, and Lisa Dixon, both founding members, were preparing for the weekend move of the club’s prefab clubhouse to a new site.
Le Cheile AC was founded in 2003.
Poignantly, said Richard and Lisa, the name was suggested by the late Celbridge athlete, Liz McDonnell, whose memory is savoured each year with the Celbridge 5K race organised the club. “The name means Together in the gaelic language and it captures the aim of the club to include everyone.”.
At a cost of over €600,000 the new track will be among the best in the country.
The track is not porous and is unlikely to start breaking up after ten years like some porous tracks, said Richard
It inclines by 100mm from one side to the other draining into the middle. The club plan to place a second track, a grass one, in the centre to be used by juveniles and locate other events, long jump, etc outside of the track.
With over 260 members from juvenile to senior citizens (see www,lecheileac.com) there will be plenty of use.
Le Cheile got going around 2003 and spent a lot of money developing a track on another part of the site.
In 2006, Kildare County Council, which has been good to them, said Richard, asked them to move and that was agreed.
The National Lottery provided around €300,000 and the Council €200,000. The club raised the rest of the money itself.
The club plans to have a official opening. See www.leinsterleader.ie for a video interview with Richard McCarthy
- Henry Bauress