KILDARE Sports Partnership launched it’s Strategic Plan 2012-2016 last week in Kildare Council’s HQ at Áras Chill Dara, Naas. County Manager Michael Malone welcomed all in attendance and in particular special guests John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council and Chairman of the Kildare Sports Partnership Niall Quinn.
Mr. Malone, who acted as MC at the event, thanked Niall for taking on the role of Chairman for this very important initiative and wished him and his Board every success as they implement this comprehensive Plan. He also thanked John Treacy for his help and cooperation in setting up the Kildare Sports Partnership under the County Development Board in 2010.
John Treacy addressed the gathering and stated that the strategic planning process is an essential step in the development of Local Sports Partnerships bringing benefits such as matching the needs of the local communities to the priorities of the partnership. He also stated that it is then possible to quantify the resources required effectively to achieve these priorities and answer local needs ensuring that the plan can be a working document, which will show results over its lifetime.
Niall Quinn, Chairman of the Kildare Sports Partnership spoke of his delight at being asked to take on this role and stressed the importance of Sport and Physical Activity to the health and wellbeing of our County.
He recounted how he became involved in sport within his own community in Eadestown on his return from England a number of years ago and how being involved in various sporting activities has become part and parcel of the life of his family.
Entertaining as always Niall told the gathering how he had recently agreed to manage the Eadestown GAA second team, who won their first league game the previous Monday evening, which meant that even after one game his GAA management career was already more successful than his management stint with Sunderland.
Niall thanked his fellow Board members for their commitment and help. He had a special thanks for Syl Merrins, Coordinator of the Partnership and Administrator Eddie Hennessy for their work in the everyday running of the project.
Niall then made presentations to 24 clubs and organisations who received funding under the 2011 Club Development Grant Scheme.
Presentations were also made to Róisín Malone, Conor Kavanagh and Conor Malone as an acknowledgement of their work with ‘The Jumping Jellybeans Club’, a physical activity group that works with Children and teenagers with disabilities and to Patsy Kelly and Sharon Melia of Monasterevin Community Games, whose club brought All Ireland success to the County in Girls Basketball in 2011 and Ladies Football in 2010.
Mayor of Kildare and Chairman of the Kildare County Development Board, Cllr. Mícheal ‘Spike’ Nolan, who officially launched the plan stressed it’s principle objective is to increase participation in sport and physical activity within the county and to give each and every one of our residents the opportunity to become more active.
“Having been involved and associated with sport all my life I am fully aware of the benefits that accrue from having an active community. The population of Kildare has increased dramatically over the years and particularly in the last decade and what better way to instil a pride and belonging than through the medium of sport’’, the Mayor stated.
The final speaker of the evening was Sports Journalist Daragh Ó Concúir, who in an excellent and humorous piece,
“The importance of sport in everday life,” encapsulated the Sports Partner-ships role, outlining his experience of sport and physical activity and his involvement from his childhood days to the present, mentioning the people who influenced him most, his parents, teachers, mentors and heroes.
Two of his heroes were sitting in front of him and he mentioned his memories of Niall Quinn and his exploits on the international stage and John Treacy, a fellow Waterford man, who conquered the world with his exploits on the track.
Daragh said the role of heroes in getting people involved in sport and physical activity should not be underestimated, recalling the impact that Sean Kelly and Stephen Roche had ‘’in getting thousands all over the country out on bikes, dressed in lycra, many who should never have been dressed in lycra’’.
The Kildare Sports Partnership Strategic Plan 2012-2016 was developed to coordinate and promote the participation in sport and physical activity in the County over the next five years. The Plan was developed in consultation with the many sporting bodies and other parties interested in promoting physical activity in the County.
The document gives a detailed account of the plan itself as well as an account of the process of consultation that took place and a summary of the inputs from the different stakeholders.
Copies of the plan can be downloaded from www.kildaresportspartnership.ie and hard copies can also be had by telephoning Kildare Sports Partnership at 045 980546/7, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org