KANTURK cycling club O’Leary Stone could be on the road to national recognition after being announced as a nominee in the Sport category of the National Lottery Good Causes Awards.
The awards honour the inspiring work of thousands of projects, clubs, and individuals who, with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding, have had an extraordinary impact on their local communities.
Since starting in 1997, cyclists from the Kanturk club have competed at national and international level. While the club is proud of its past and present cyclists who have competed at a professional level, including Sam Bennett at the Tour de France, it is determined to ensure that cyclists of all ages and abilities can enjoy the sport.
It has over 60 members and is home to Ireland’s only Olympic-size track.
Funding has proved essential for the maintenance of the 250m outdoor track and for facilities to be upgraded to the standard required for national and international competitions.
The track has also been beneficial for the wider community, as it attracts visitors from near and far to both train and compete.
The awards have six categories: Sport, Health & Wellbeing, Heritage, Arts & Culture, Community, and Youth.
A seventh category, Irish Language, will have a special award to be announced at the awards final, in recognition of outstanding work done in the promotion of the Irish language.
Each category winner will receive €10,000, while the overall Good Cause of the Year will get an additional €25,000 on top of this.
The winners will be announced at a virtual event hosted by Gráinne Seoige live from the Mansion House, Dublin on Saturday, May 29.
Following the announcement of the 36 finalists in February, each of the community groups, sports clubs, and organisations from all over Ireland undertook a virtual judging segment of the competition.
The judging panel was chaired by Lotto presenter Nuala Carey and also included Griffin Retail Group CEO Seamus Griffin, columnist and author Fergus Finlay, and CSR manager of the National Lottery Jennifer Crowe.
Awards chairperson Nuala Carey spoke of the incredible challenge that the panel faced in deciding on winners for each of the categories.
“We were in total awe of each of the 36 finalists after seeing their presentations,” she said.
“It’s no easy feat being asked to do a presentation remotely, but each of the groups really took the task in their stride and highlighted all of the wonderful work being done in every corner of the country with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding.”