Sport NI Chair George Lucas was among attendees at a recent celebration at Drumragh Sarsfields GAC to mark the official opening of new state-of-the-art facilities at the Tyrone club.
The major project has seen the club install a new training pitch, sports hall and indoor/outdoor gym, and has been a decade in development. Sport Northern Ireland invested nearly £800k of Exchequer funding in 2008 towards the development of the floodlit pitch as well as a two-storey four room changing pavilion
Drumragh Sarsfields G.A.C is based at Clanabogan, on the outskirts of Omagh, in the parish of Drumragh in West Tyrone and was founded in 1972. Less than seven years ago the Club had a membership and user base of approximately 100 people (only 12 of which were active female participants). Following investment and development works the user base has grown significantly (currently at more than 300 active participants) and 500 members. The club also runs a successful Gaelic for Mothers and Others programme giving more opportunities for people to get active and enjoy social within the club.
Among the dignitaries and representatives in attendance was President of Ireland Michael D Higgins, and Neamh Woods, club member, Captain of the Tyrone GAA Ladies team former, TG4 All Star and current member of the Northern Ireland Netball team (who recently competed at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast).
Speaking at the special event, Sport NI Chair George Lucas commented:
“On behalf of Sport Northern Ireland, I’m delighted to be at this event marking 10 years of football at the centre here at Drumragh Sarsfields. This club has gone through a real journey of transformation over the last decade. Sport NI is proud to have played a part in that journey through our investment back in 2008 and the hard work of Sport NI staff who oversaw that project, from reviewing early drawings of the facilities, to providing advice during the procurement process and conducting site visits.
“It has been a real pleasure to return to the club today on behalf of Sport NI and see the impact that the new facilities are having in helping the club develop, grow and diversify its membership, and thrive as a hub for the local community. I would like to congratulate everyone at Drumragh Sarsfields for their achievements and their continued commitment to the club, and also thank the other partner organisations and funders who provided support.“