By Alan Rodgers
A NOVEL fundraising effort has been started by the Beragh Red Knights GAA club to help in the development of a new all-seater spectator stand and community gym costing in the region of £300,000.
In 1983, the club became only the second in Tyrone after neighbours Carrickmore to construct a spectator stand. Now, four decades on, they have been making full use of the shutdown in gaelic games to forge ahead with their latest developments.
Plans are in place for the construction of the stand and gym later in 2021. Both developments come after a major pitch resurfacing scheme took place in 2020, just as the initial coronavirus lockdown was taking hold.
Now, they have launched an online competition to help fund the project in the absence of the normal door to door selling which has proven so beneficial for many clubs in the past.
Beragh GAA Treasurer, Sean Owens, said the response to the competition has been excellent so far, especially with the support of country music star, Derek Ryan and Tyrone captain Mattie Donnelly.
“We reckon that we’re the first club in this area to have an online competition like this. There is the attraction of a big prize of £50,000 or a tractor, motorhome or car and £10,000 in cash and online Buster Competition entry is just £20,” he said.
“Our intention is that the new spectator stand and community gym will be completed this year. Both facilities will provide for the long-term health and wellbeing of our members and the local community.
“It is also hoped that the stand, in conjunction with the new pitch surface and larger playing area, will provide for our players in the medium and long-term and also make St Mary’s Park a popular venue once again for important games in Tyrone.
“There has been a lot of work carried out throughout the past year and at this stage everyone is looking forward to the return of training and matches at our new and improved facilities which are widely recognised as being among the best in the county.”
Further information on the fundraising and other plans by the Red Knights can be obtained on social media and via club officials and members.