MUINTIR Bháire GAA club has issued a rallying cry to people in the locality and beyond to support the new Rebels’ Bounty draw and help complete the development of their playing facilities.
Muintir Bháire’s development of their GAA grounds involved the construction of a new clubhouse, and steel frames were erected before Christmas. Unfortunately, the Carbery club suffered a double-blow in the new year.
Another Covid-19 lockdown halted construction and prevented Muintir Bháire from raising desperately-needed funds through the sale of club lotto tickets in the local area.
Club chairperson Frankie Arundel understands his club’s plight better than anyone and hopes the local community will rally around Muintir Bháire by signing up for the new Cork GAA Rebels’ Bounty draw.
This is a new initiative to give clubs a significant opportunity to raise funds at a time when traditional fundraising has been impacted by restrictions imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19. There is 100 percent commission to clubs who raise funds above minimum set targets. Also, €500,000 in prize money will be given out through 12 monthly draws offering anyone who purchases a ticket 360 chances to win and the opportunity to support their local club.
‘Covid-19 is affecting everyone and we, in Muintir Bháire GAA Club, are not immune to it,’ Arundel says.
‘We will get back to it as soon as things open up again but there’s no doubt that Covid-19 has paused everything for now. The club rebooted its lotto recently by moving it online. The reality is that we haven’t had an opportunity to build on that and increase ticket sales because of the latest lockdown.
‘Things went well with the lotto over Christmas when the pubs and restaurants were last open, albeit under restrictions. We feel it would be irresponsible to try and (physically) sell tickets to people right now so, like everyone else, we are just waiting things out.’
Muintir Bháire may be perceived as a small rural club compared to others situated in or near large urban West Cork areas. Yet, the reality is that Arundel and his committee are catering for growing number of underage players drawn from areas such as Durrus, Kilcrohane and Ahakista.
Even though these are sparsely populated regions, Muintir Bháire has seen the underage section of their club, from U8 up to U14, grow significantly in recent times. That upsurge in emerging talent prompted the club to start fundraising to improve their facilities. Clearly, catering for the next generation of footballers is of the upmost importance to Arundel and his fellow committee members. That’s what makes Covid-19’s intervention all the more frustrating.
‘We are a peninsula club surrounded by water,’ Arundel says.
‘Up to U14, our playing numbers are strong and that’s encouraging. We realised that we couldn’t keep going the way we were. We had to start thinking about the future and developing our facilities.
‘Our pitch development is complete and has turned out magnificently. Surface-wise, it is fantastic. Our clubhouse development was well underway until Covid-19.
We hope to have that, including dressing-rooms completed by the end of the year if all goes well. It would be nice to see the development finished off and give everyone in the locality something to look forward to. They badly need it as there is plenty hardship in the area right now.
‘That’s why people getting behind the Rebels’ Bounty draw is so important for Muintir Bháire’s future. People in the locality as well as anyone that’s left the area and living in another country can contribute. We appreciate people’s safety is the most important thing right now but getting involved in the Rebels’ Bounty draw is vital for keeping the club going. It helps not only our own club but the whole of Cork football and hurling too. Hopefully, people will row in behind us.’