Since easing of lockdown restrictions on June 29th the club has been very busy, both on and off the field, in regaining a sense of normality for its members and the community. All necessary Covid-19 guidelines are been followed with medical questionnaires and hand sanitisation becoming the norm at all training and games.
St. Finian’s Park is once again a hive of activity since the gates re-opened with training and challenge matches taking place across the majority of boys, girls, and adult teams. Competitive action has also returned with our adult men the first to return when they travelled to Slane on Friday night and continue league action tonight with a round 2 game against St. Brigid’s in the Park. Best of luck to them.
Competitive action also returned in a very successful manner for our junior team star, Niall Smullen, who won a Leinster Post Primary Schools medal with St. Joseph’s, Rochfortbridge last Friday in O’Connor Park, Tullamore. Niall played a crucial role from midfield in their 2-13 to 0-15 win over Naas CBS providing the pass for his side’s opening goal and winning the penalty for their second and decisive goal 5 minutes from full-time. Congratulations to you Niall, our underage teams are greatly looking forward to you showing off the cup in St. Finian’s Park very soon.
Our minor Under 17 boys team take to the pitch this Sunday to make their debut against neighbours Na Fianna in a challenge game. It has been 9 years since the club fielded independently at minor level and we wish the lads and coaches all the best on Sunday and in the upcoming championship.
Only our Under 7 and Under 9 teams have yet to play games but continue to train each Monday and Wednesday evening. They will be ‘raring’ to go when fixtures recommence for them next week.
One of the highlights of the return of activities has certainly been the Under 5’s Nursery Academy last Saturday morning. A group of jubilant boys and girls hand sanitised and ran with great enthusiasm on to the training area where they were met by a group of equally jubilant and enthusiastic coaches. The onlooking socially distanced parents on the side-line proudly enjoyed it just as much as their siblings.
The walking track is the most recent activity to re-open and all members must adhere to the social distancing guidelines and use the track in a clockwise direction.
Another challenge for the club during these Covid times is financing our running costs as all normal fundraising activities could not take place this year due to the lockdown restrictions. Funds from our usual events such as bag packs, Easter Draw, 4-mile run, and lotto have all been hit while affiliation and running costs remain unchanged.
To attempt to meet this financial challenge the club has launched an online ‘Fantasy Championship’ competition which we hope everyone will enter and support, at €10 per entry, in order to raise vital funds to meet affiliation and insurance costs for the year. Entries can be made online with all the rules and details at www.meathgaachampionship.com. A first prize of €300 and a second prize of €100 is up for grabs so why not test your knowledge of the Meath GAA club scene as well as vitally supporting the club at this time. A random ‘wildcard’ selection of teams is also available as an entry option.
It is hoped our weekly lotto will recommence on Monday August 10th with the committee currently working on the option of a paperless and Covid proof way of operating the draw. Emphasis is expected to be placed on online and bank standing order weekly entries with 3 lines for €5 and 6 lines for €10. Again, we will be relying on the support of our members and supporters to make the lotto a viable proposition going forward. Keep an eye on our social media sites for more details over the coming weeks.
But despite the many additional requirements and challenges currently, it’s certainly great to be back, and best of luck to all our teams in the upcoming competitions. Cluain Ioraird abú.
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