THE community of Innishannon pulled together for their local school after they were unable to secure funding for an all-weather pitch.
Pupils of Scoil Eoin in West Cork returned after lockdown to a new pitch funded by residents and businesses in the area. Their school field had previously suffered damage after the construction of a school sports hall and two new classrooms.
The Board of Management, with the support of the Parents’ Association, opted for an all-weather pitch to replace it that could be used all year round.
The project was completed by Hourihan Sports Field Development and made possible by donations from locals, parents and businesses in the area. The nearby O'Sullivan's Centra made up a massive bulk of the cost with a €10,000 donation towards the facility.
Principal of the school, Carol Ní Chuimín said that an adequate play area was vital for the physical and mental wellbeing of children at the school. She added that the school is continuing to strive for the Active Schools Flag which acknowledges the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles. The principal also acknowledged the additional benefits the Astro-turf pitch will have for PE lessons and sports training as well as recreational purposes.
"We were dependent on the generosity of the community to make this happen," she said.
She described the joy for her students when first seeing the pitch.
"[It] was a huge day for everyone. All the children were overjoyed and every class got a chance to see it individually and in groups. You could them lying down on it and enjoying the feel of the astroturf on their backs. It's in a beautiful tranquil setting surrounded by mature trees. There is no passing traffic and it's very safe and relaxed."