Connacht GAA Council celebrated a very special and historic milestone in its long and glorious history on Saturday 8th December, 2012, with the official opening of the Connacht GAA Centre, having already accomplished Phase One and Phase Two of this magnificent facility at Cloonacurry, Bekan, Claremorris, Co. Mayo. This was the culmination of many years of dedicated preparation and meticulous planning by those involved.
The vision of the Connacht Council was in keeping with the GAA National Strategic Vision & Action Plan 2009/2015 which states: “The Association is engaging in an ambitious initiative to develop a network of Centres of Excellence around the country. These Centres will comprise of natural grass, synthetic playing pitches, floodlights and ancillary facilities which will serve the needs of county teams, development squads, clubs, schools and colleges. These Centres will encourage and facilitate increased participation and be of great benefit to the playing of our clubs’ and schools’ games and our recreational games.” The project was approved and supported by Coiste Bainisti and Ard Comhairle in March, 2008. Phase One dealt with all the grounds work, pitches, carparks, perimeter walk/track, 3G Pitch and floodlighting of the entire facility. Phase Two saw the completion of the physical building and landscaping of the surrounding area. Phase Three will see the construction of an Indoor 4G Playing Pitch with a Functional Stand attached.
What is in the Centre
The Centre is comprised of the following:-
- Five full size Prunty pitches.
- One 3G Pitch
- Perimeter walking/running track (2.2 Kilometres)
- Flood Lighting for five of the six pitches
- Parking: 400 Cars & 20 Buses
- Main Building- which comprises of
- Reception Area & Office
- Six Dressing Rooms/Referees Rooms
- Three Meeting Rooms
- Lecture Theatre
- Board Room
- An Analysis Suite
- Functional Movement Room
- Two Physio Rooms
- Dining Hall and Kitchen
- Six Administration Offices
- Four Storage Rooms
It is intended that the Connacht GAA Centre will be the focal point for all GAA matters in Connacht and will be used by all units within the GAA family. The building is multi-purpose and will house all the provincial administrative activities. However, it is also envisaged that the facilities and services provided in the Centre will have a significant positive impact on referee, coach and player welfare and development, and club development. The appointment of Cathal Cregg, as Provincial Strength & Conditioning Officer further copper-fastens and complements the existing services.
The Match Analysis & Testing Equipment will give teams an opportunity to evaluate their performances in a manner that was heretofore very costly and extremely difficult to access.
The facility is for
-Administrators from the Province and all Counties and Clubs
-Cumann na mBunscoil
- Festival of Gaelic Games for Primary Schools
- School Tours
- Skills Days
-Second Level Schools
- School Games
- Super-touch Blitzes,
- Seven, Nine, Eleven-a-Sides
- Club Games
- The facility will be available for a club to take a number of their teams to use this facility on any given visit
- All provincial Development & Academy Squad competitions (eg Sean Purcell, Ted Webb, Dermot Earley, Connolly Cunniffe, Niall McInerney, Provincial Feiles)
-Inter County Teams
- Coaching & Games
- Assessment Analysis
- Pre-hab and Re-hab
- Referee Training and Education
- Coach Education
The Connacht GAA Centre is a facility that will create an environment where administrators, referees, coaches and players will convene to learn from one another and access all other consultancies that will further contribute to their development. The Centre is also available for teams throughout the country and abroad to come and use all the facilities.