Ballygarvan is set to benefit from new GAA county board draw

Ballygarvan is set to benefit from new GAA county board draw

Ballygarvan’s Michaela Buckley in a recent championship game. Her club is making great strides in the new Rebels Bounty draw. Picture: Howard Crowdy

BALLYGARVAN club is just one of many success stories in the new Cork county board’s Rebels Bounty draw which swings into action at the end of next week.

While the initial prospect of needing to raise €7k to meet the board’s slice of the proceeds appeared daunting, the Carrigdhoun club rolled up their sleeves.

Ballygarvan, who play at intermediate hurling level, had a requirement to sell 70 tickets at a €100 a pop before moving into profit, but they’ve surged past that figure.

“It’s going pretty well in that we’ve doubled our sales from last year,” said Denis Looney, club treasurer and draw co-ordinator.

“We started out with 70 members from the previous draw and are now up at 150, having reached out to our sister clubs in camogie and ladies football with great success.

“Our target now is 200 and I don’t see any reason why we can’t reach that figure.

“We’ve giving it one last push now and are appealing to all our members to try and support the club because it will be very difficult to have a big fund-raiser this year.”

Hitting their target will net Ballygarvan €13k in profit, which will help keep the club’s six adult teams, minors, juveniles, camogie and ladies football sections on the go once restrictions are lifted, apart from helping to pay bills, too.

“Our initial reaction was one of concern because we mightn’t have been able to reach our designated target and would have to pay out money that we didn’t have.

“But, we sat down, the club executive put a plan together and club members rowed in behind and supported it.

“We have about 10 of the main committee pushing the tickets out, as well as three or four from the camogie and ladies football committees.

“And we also have a few ex-committee members of long standing who would look after their own books of business as well.

“The beauty of Rebels Bounty is that you can sell tickets online so that you don’t need to go door-to-door collecting money or things like that,” Looney added.

The main points of the plan started at getting existing draw members to renew and once they were on board the club looked at their membership base for the next phase.

“The big thing is to contact people individually and ask them for their support, which they willingly do.

“We had another more recent meeting, when we went through the list again and we also used social media to promote the draw.

“A lot of it is personal contact with members on a one-to-one basis and following it up from there.”

One of the few plusses about Covid is getting more people in-tune with the online world and Ballygarvan is benefitting.

“In the past if we got five per cent of our sales off the web would have been phenomenal because that’s not how the GAA works.

“But, now people are becoming more web savvy. You’re sending texts and people are picking up the link which is great.

“Covid did impede us in that you don’t see people anymore. You don’t meet up at matches or training and there are no social events either.

“Our AGM was virtual and we’d normally push a lot of tickets at that, so we had to overcome those sorts of obstacles.

“And it’s done by literally picking up the phone and calling people or if you see someone walking the road you’d stop, observing the 2m distancing obviously.

“There’s a huge amount of goodwill towards the club in Ballyarvan because they know we’re under pressure financially, but we kept the show on the road last year and gave great entertainment.

“We stayed open for as long as we could, being very Covid conscious all the time with our Covid officers in place.

“People saw the enjoyment they had, when our facilities were open because I don’t think you value something until it you don’t have it.”

Over the years, Ballygarvan has boxed above its weight by supplying players to Cork teams like Ger Spillane, a former All Star footballer, hurler Stephen White and camogie player Emer Dillon.

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