'Ballycumber Climbs the Reek' event announced

A fundraising climb of Croagh Patrick is taking place in August in order to reduce outstanding debut on the Ballycumber Activity Centre and Community Sports Hub

The centre, which opened in November 2023, has been very busy. The covered astro turf pitch, in particular, is proving to be a very popular addition to the local community and to neighbours.

In January, alone there was 1500 hours of activity by users of all ages,genders and skill-levels. February and March were similarly busy, and the broad range of activities includes walking football, boxercise, indoor football and hurling, rounders, cricket, badminton, camogie, pickleball, athletics and football and hurling training.

Local primary and secondary schools have used the centre for Sports Days and training and for some aspects of their Transition Year programmes. Ballycumber Activity Centre and Community Sports Hub have made all that activity possible through the winter and during bad weather.

Offaly Sports Partnership is currently running an extensive Summer Programme for teenagers, where activities are led by qualified tutors and participation is free of charge. The facility has been designated a Community Sports Hub by OSP and Sport Ireland and that it is being extensively used.

The committee behind the project said it hopes that level of usage continues for many years to come.

It said there remains a level of 'manageable' debt outstanding on the facility, which is manageable, which it wants to bring down to a level that makes the centre self-sustaining. To achieve this goal, it is hosting a fundraising event on August 17, climbing Croagh Patrick.

The committee very much appreciates that it got outstanding moral and financial support with the “Walk from Croke Park to Ballycumber on the Grand Canal Greenway” event in 2021. It proved to be a hugely important aspect of the development as it became clear to all that the whole community was supporting this project.

The committee said: "A lot has happened since 2021, we hope that you will be able to support our current fundraising initiative in some way."

To date 68 participants have emerged for the walk.

Visit ballycumber.fundmajor.com to pledge donations. Bus transport will be provided to and from Murrisk in Co. Mayo for climbers. The climb covers seven kilometres from the car park at the bottom of the mountain to the top and back down. Climbers are asked to wear suitable footwear and dress for all weathers and be physically able to climb.