In October 2018, at a Special General Meeting, the club membership sanctioned the commencement of Phase 1 of our Development Plan. This plan involves the provision of three full-sized playing pitches on our site, one of which would be a 4G astroturf surface. Since this meeting, our Development Committee, in consultation with our engineers, reviewed other facilities, undertook an updated needs analysis of our pitch infrastructure and further examined the demographics of our membership and our community. This analysis formed the basis of our planning application to the local authority which was authorised in June 2019.
Central to this analysis is the rapid growth in membership we have recently experienced. Bishopstown has regenerated and we are presently catering for over 1,000 players. New housing is also coming on stream in our area for the first time in decades so we predict that these numbers may grow. This rapid growth in our membership is one of our many success stories over the last number of years. Since we relaunched our Primary and Cúl Maroon sections in 2016, it has become apparent that the already overstretched facilities we currently have are not, and will not be sufficient to meet the needs of our current and projected membership both today and into the future.
Our current pitch infrastructure consists of two full-sized games fields (Pitch 1 and 2) allied to our training pitch (Pitch 3). Facilitating the playing needs of over 1,000 players and 50 teams is proving very difficult and these difficulties result in our club renting facilities elsewhere or teams sharing pitches for training sessions. The task of scheduling standard weekly activities within our current infrastructure is now becoming increasingly difficult and problematic; we simply require more playing space. We believe that such a solution must be based within our facility which is centred within our community. Simply put, if we don’t develop a third full-sized field now, we will not be able to provide for the demands that the future is going to present.
Our Phase 1 Development Plan alleviates these provision issues by providing our club with three full- sized playing pitches, one which will have a 4G all- weather surface which will service our playing and training needs in the winter months particularly. This will mean that the Training Pitch will be levelled, realigned and extended to become a regulation sized pitch and Pitch 1 will be developed as a full-sized 4G astroturf pitch.
As part of a longer-term Development Plan, it is planned that work will commence on this project in the autumn of 2020 and so begin a new chapter in the history of the GAA in Bishopstown.
As part of our campaign to raise the funds needed for this development, the Club is launching a number of initiatives. Obviously, these initiatives involve your financial support. We do not make the request lightly, however, we do make it earnestly and from the heart, because this is a very important community undertaking.
These new pitches are being built for everyone, but it is you, our members, friends, and supporters, who are the cement that binds a community together. Without your support and commitment, no development project on its own, can ever hope to create a community. Together we can deliver this state of the art facility for our Club and the people of our community to enjoy for generations to come.