€25,000 grant will fund new athletics track at Cappawhite school

Aileen Hahesy

Aileen Hahesy

Cappawhite National School has been awarded a €25,000 grant from the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport to develop an athletics track for its students and the wider community.

And the new sports facility that will surround the school’s existing hurling pitch will be in place for the new academic year next September, according to Cappawhite NS principal Alice Flynn.

Minister of State in the Department of Transport, Sport & Tourism Alan Kelly visited the primary school on Monday morning to announce the Sports Capital Partnership Fund grant for the athletics track.

His visit coincided with the visit of INTO President Anne Fay to the school to meet with students and staff. Ms Fay is a past pupil of Cappawhite National School and is currently a principal of a primary school in Fermoy, Co. Cork.

Ms Flynn said the school’s students, staff, parents and board of management were thrilled to secure the grant and work on the project begin in February. A decision has not yet been reached on the type of surfacing for the track.

“Ninety groups in Co. Tipperary applied for these grants and only 30 were approved funding and we were the only school,” she said.

The school was chosen for the funding because of its reputation as a strong athletics school. Its boys cross country team, comprising 5th and 6th class pupils, won the team gold medal at the this year’s Co. Tipperary Schools Cross Country Championships.

“Athletics is very popular in the school that is why we made the application for funding for the track because we want to further develop the sport in the school. We are also involved in the Active Schools Programme and have an Active Schools flag,” Ms Flynn explained.

The application to the Department of Transport, Sports & Tourism was made jointly by the school and Cappawhite Community Council. The athletics track will be available not only to the school’s pupil but to the community of Cappawhite.

Minister Kelly said he was delighted to support the grant application.

“Cappawhite is a great community and it has a great school. I am delighted their application to my Department was successful and I know this facility will be of great use to the current and future students of Cappawhite National School and the people of the locality for years to come,” he said.

Meanwhile, during her visit to Cappawhite NS, Anne Fay enjoyed watching the school’s Christmas pageant and was presented with gifts from the staff and pupils.