Park-Ratheniska is one of 45 clubs, along with two regional venues, selected to participate in Phase One of a new GAA Green Club programme which was launched recently.
The GAA Green Club Programme has five thematic focus areas, namely: Energy, Waste, Biodiversity, Water, Travel & Transport.
It will see clubs explore a range of sustainability projects designed to enrich their physical and social environments.
The Park/Ratheniska GAA Club is focusing primarily on the Waste theme but will not be limited to this area of work.
The all-Ireland nature of the initiative was reflected in the contribution to the online launch event by Eamon Ryan, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications.
The Green Club Phase One participants were selected from 220 clubs that responded earlier this year to a questionnaire designed to gauge interest in developing a Green Club initiative.
The responses highlighted a wealth of sustainability work already being undertaken by GAA units and a desire to further contribute to the green agenda while future-proofing their communities and facilities.
Phase One will run for twelve months from December 2020 with the intention of amassing as much practical learnings from the participating clubs and venues as possible.
This will inform the creation of a GAA Green Clubs toolkit that will be made available to all GAA units in Ireland (1,600 clubs, plus county and provincial venues), replete with useful case studies, established partnership models, and funding avenues.
A Green Club Working Group, involving representation from all stakeholders, is overseeing the implementation of Phase One of the project.
Speaking of the initiative, Park/Ratheniska Secretary Brian Ramsbottom said his Club was very enthusiastic about the initiative.
He said: “We are honoured to be asked to become involved in this hugely worthwhile project.
“We view ourselves a progressive Club, who are always investigating new and better ways to serve our community and local environment.
“The practical and sustainable solutions which will potentially emerge from this project could benefit 1000’s of GAA Clubs across Ireland.
“While we are delighted to be involved in the Waste area of this project, we are also extremely interested in seeing what benefits we can take from all the other Clubs taking in part in the varying aspects of the scheme”.
Park/Ratheniska GAA, through their Health and Wellbeing Officer Eileen Dunne and her committee, have been very active in the past year in the GAA’s Official Healthy Club initiative, achieving all the criteria and qualifying as an Official GAA Healthy Club.
Indeed, it was the Park/Ratheniska Footballers who first came up with the initial “300K in a Day” fundraising idea which gave such a boost to the “Do it for Dan” Fundraising Drive.
Combined with their recent Clubhouse and Grounds Developments which have completed 5 years of Capital Development in their small village, this is seen as another step on the road to serving its members and community in the best means possible.