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No Name Club endeavour brings about €380,000 health facility

The initiative and endeavour of a group of Mayo teenagers is set to come to fruition as the first sod has been turned on a €380,000 physical and mental health activity zone. In what is believed to be a first nationally, a group of teenagers have led the way in planning and designing an outdoor activity zone that will bring health benefits to young and old in the West Mayo Community of Erris for years to come.

The first sod on the Erris nnc Development Initiative in Teenage Health was turned Friday, October 22nd. This project is being developed at the side of Belmullet Civic Centre and was initiated by the teenagers of Erris No Name Club in partnership with Mayo County Council after they identified the need within their community for a health and fitness facility that would bring physical and mental health benefits to the wider community.

Facilities being delivered include an artificial grass facility that will be an interchangeable football pitch and basketball court, a tennis court, boccia court and a teenage activity area to include table football, table tennis, a skate trainer, dutch disc and NEOS activity play structure.

After completing a No Name Club initiative on healthy eating and nutrition, the club’s teenagers got talking about health and fitness. Their discussions focussed on the community only having activity facilities that were attached to sports clubs. In conjunction with their adult committee leaders, the idea for a community activity zone was developed.

A first meeting with Mayo County Council took place in April and documents and a strategy were subsequently developed by May. Work is to commence shortly on site with an anticipated completion date prior to Easter 2011.

Attending the sod turning ceremony were the teenagers behind the project; the Erris No Name Club adult committee; Con Nolan, No Name Club CEO; council officials; councillors and Mayo County Council Cathaoirleach Councillor Michael Burke.

Edith Geraghty, chairperson of Erris No Name Club, says: “This shows what young people can achieve when they take an idea, seize the initiative and work collectively to make a concept a reality. The teenagers in Erris No Name Club worked among themselves, with Mayo County Council and the local community to drive this project. This much-needed facility should bring physical and mental health benefits to generations of young people and adults within the community for years to come. This will be a resource for the whole family and community, and the confidence the project has engendered among the teenagers is invaluable.”

Con Nolan, Chief Executive Officer of the No Name Club says: “This is a tremendous achievement for the teenagers of Erris No Name Club. The organisation is working in over 40 communities across Ireland to empower young people and develop their confidence and leadership skills. This project highlights what can be achieved when we provide support to young people who will soon be playing an active role in adult society.”

Padraig Brogan, Senior Staff Officer in the Belmullet Office of Mayo County Council added: “Erris No-Name club and Mayo County Council enjoyed a great working relationship in firstly delivering the innovative and ground breaking “One 4 Life” Road Safety campaign. This new project is further evidence of a partnership approach in developing and sustaining communities. I wish to thank the funders for their support for this exciting project, the Architects Section of Mayo County Council for developing the initial ideas of the Erris No-Name club members, the County Manager and Councillors for their unanimous backing, and the local community for their assistance and support.”

Councillor Gerry Coyle of Mayo County Council has been a long-time supporter of the project and says:
“I’m delighted to see the project come to fruition and I’d like to congratulate the No Name Club for the work they have put into it. I’d like to encourage people to support all No Name Clubs and other organisations that are supporting our youth.”

Pictured at the signing of the contract for the €380,000 health facility are, front row, left to right: Con Nolan, No Name Club CEO; Edith Geraghty, Chairperson Erris NNC; Joe Beirne, Director of Services Mayo County Council. Back Row, left to right, Creative Play Contractor; Padraig Brogan, Senior Staff Officer Mayo County Council; Peter Gill, Mayo County Council Architect.