ULSTER kingpins Kilcoo are leading the way, both on and off the field.
The Down club are are celebrating after being awarded more than £8,000 in Lottery funding.
The club are using the grant aid to run activities for family members while children, and young people are attending training at the club.
Activities include a homework club for siblings, yoga and pilates for mums, arts and crafts for grandparents and activities for younger children including story-telling and arts activities.
Sheila Kelly of Kilcoo GAC, said all at the club were elated:
“We are absolutely ecstatic, just over the moon.
“We have done extremely well with the funding, this time around.
“This club is very, very important to the community, it’s all about community and this is a superb boost.”
Sheila said the money will help them to develop:
“We will be able to avail of new changing facilities.
“We don’t have those currently in the community hall that we use.
“We also have an amount of money now that can help develop the club’s I.T. facilties.”
Sheila explained that the money will also help, as well as with the I.T. facilties, with other things in the club.
This has come at a very welcome time.
With the local sporting calendar decimated by the Coronavirus outbreak, Sheila said it has been a tough time for everyone:
“All the GAA clubs in the county are doing their best under the current circumstances.
“Sean Og McAteer sent letters to all the clubs, thanking them for keeping to the restrictions outlined, and the GAA were amongst the first bodies to do that,” said Sheila.
“The GAA clubs have been, and remain very positive.
“And that is about more than what is done on the pitch, it is about promoting positive mental health and well-being,”
The National Lottery Community Fund announced funding of £594,379 to 71 community projects from across Northern Ireland.
Other projects funded include those that are supporting young people that are deaf to gain confidence, adults with learning or physical disabilities to have a better quality of life, general well-being of older people through classes like DIY and developing a community garden.
Kate Beggs, Northern Ireland Director of The National Lottery Community Fund said:
“In this time of uncertainty, we want to reassure the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector that we are open, money is still being awarded and we are here to support our communities.
“We continue to deliver our services to applicants, grant holders and communities across the UK as normally as we can with all staff working from home and prioritising keeping money flowing.
“We appreciate that many of the organisations awarded funding may need to delay the delivery of their project, but we will work with them to ensure that they can do this.
“We will be flexible and trust that all our grant holders know what is best as they manage the impact of Covid-19.
“We are also looking at ways we can offer further financial support to help people and communities.
“We have heard of brilliant efforts taking place across the sector, of our funded projects helping those in isolation by delivering food packages or checking in with the elderly or unwell.
“We know that as a small community in Northern Ireland we will work together, making a big difference and helping each other, until we can all physically bring communities together to achieve great things again.”