Christy Todd and Kieran Keenaghan (Offaly Faithful Fields), John Carroll (Chairperson LOETB), Joe Cunningham (Chief Executive LOETB), Tony Dalton (Director of Further Education and Training Services
Offaly GAA have revealed details of a new partnership deal with the Laois and Offaly Education and Training Board (LOETB).
The two organisations released a joint statement on Monday, May 28, announcing details of the deal that will see LOETB named as sponsor of the Community Walkway and Training Rooms at the Faithful Fields for a 10-year term. Bord na Mona remains the title sponsor of the facility.
This new agreement will see LOETB provide a financial contribution of €18,000 and a range of education and training supports for development squad players and inter-county players at the Training Centre. It is similar to a deal struck between the LOETB and Laois GAA earlier this year.
Offaly GAA officially opened The Faithful Fields training facility in September 2017 and since then it has been a hive of activity with all Offaly Hurling and Football teams, from U13 Development Squads right up to senior teams, using the facilities on a regular basis.
In addition, the Camogie and Ladies Football inter county teams have used it on a regular basis, while the concluding stages of the Féile Competitions have been played here. Furthermore, it has been used by Leinster Council and Croke Park to play colleges games in both hurling and football. The floodlit walking track is a focal point used regularly by the local community
and visitors to the facility.
LOETB is a statutory provider of education and training to over 16,ooo students in nine post-primary schools and twelve Further Education and Training Centres across Laois and Offaly.
LOETB was established in July 2013 following the amalgamation of the VECs of Laois and Offaly and also has responsibility for all training services in Laois and Offaly following the dissolution of FÁS, also in 2013.
Chairperson of Offaly GAA Tommy Byrne said: “The old saying a healthy mind demands ahealthy body makes the partnership of Offaly GAA and LOETB a perfect fit. Offaly GAA are delighted to have the support of LOETB both from a financial perspective and by providing a facility for LOETB to provide suitable and essential training and services to the people of Offaly. Offaly GAA and LOETB, as two community-based organisations, see the importance of this partnership to develop these services and we are delighted to be in a position to allow LOETB bring their programmes into the community.”
Speaking at the announcement, LOETB Chief Executive Joe Cunningham said; “This relationship will allow Offaly GAA to deliver on its social contribution to the community and provide LOETB with an opportunity to raise the public awareness of our organisation and the programmes and services we provide.”
“It is particularly apt that we are sponsoring the Community Walkway that is such an inclusive facility and an asset to the wider, as well as the GAA, community. Whether it is the parent making healthy use of their waiting time, the older person looking for a safe place for a leisurely walk, or the runners and walkers exercising mind and body, the new LOETB Community Walkway, just like education and training, is for everyone," he added.
Mr Cunningham believes there is a natural fit between the two organisations. “Offaly GAA has a club in every community in the county and LOETB, through its network of schools, centres, and community education services, also serves the people of Offaly from the cradle to the grave. There has been significant change in our sector in recent years and the agreement with Offaly GAA allows us to bring a positive message of the benefits of education and training to the widest possible audience.”
Chairperson of the Faithful Fields Development Committee Kieran Keenaghan added, “The Sponsorship by LOETB of the Walking Track at The Faithful Fields facility is very appropriate and welcome indeed. I am confident that the partnership will portray the message of both organisations and show how two community based organisations can come together for a mutually beneficial relationship."
LOETB Director Tony Dalton believes that delivering educational programmes and supports at the Faithful Fields will further enhance the development of our young players.
“The basis of this agreement is the provision of a more holistic approach to training, as it focuses on the physical, academic and mental well-being development of our young players," he said.
The agreement will be officially launched at the Faithful Fields on Saturday, June 16 at 11am.
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