INTO THE LIGHT
SOCCER AND GAA players were able to play on fully lit pitches last Friday evening at Ballywaltrim Recreational Park.
The new pitch floodlights were turned on for the first time at nightfall, with hundreds of people coming along to enjoy a night of sport as well as a gourmet barbecue.
Chairman of the Ballywaltrim Park management Committee David Grant said that the past ten years have seen progress in Ballywaltrim in terms of sports facilities. ‘Ten years ago last month the new changing rooms were handed over to the management committee, and this time last year the new swimming pool and astro turf pitches were opened.’
Representatives of the Wicklow Football League and Wicklow GAA County Board were at the event to mark a milestone in the community, which organizers say will allow local clubs the opportunity to provide more activities and cater for greater numbers.
The CEO of County Wicklow VEC, Fiona Hartley, said that young people need activity most during the dark winter evenings.
The funding for the lights came from the Young Peoples Facilities and Services Fund, which has also provided for a new pitch at St. Kilian’s, some of Ballywaltrim Community Centre and the development of other youth centres in the town. Another set of floodlights in Fassaroe will be officially turned on in October.
‘The sports stars of tomorrow are tonight participating in and enjoying this memorable occasion,’ said Minister Dick Roche on Friday.
When the lights went down at the end of the night and the barbeque was emptied, there was a great sense of achievement and community spirit in the cold autumn air as the players and supporters packed up and headed home for a good night’s sleep.
Aidan Maguire, Jake Carton and Stephen Downey.
Alex Matthew and Charlie Moore at the switching on of the floodlights.
At the switching on of the floodlights at Ballywaltrim Playing Fields was Aoife Byrne, enjoying a snack.