WHILE the county may not have been able to field an adult camogie team, they’re packing them in at the Banríon Gaels.
The camogie club was set up to cater for players aged five and up from the Portarlington, Killenard, Emo, Gracefield and surrounding areas. It was formed in September 2013, when Tara Brereton met fellow camogie enthusiast Stephen Hoary. Patrick Mullaney, regional development co-ordinator with the camogie association came on board and things, as they say, got moving.
One month later, a training programme facilitated by Laois inter-county player Olga Parkinson got underway at Killenard National School in October 2013 and ongoing training in the Portarlington Presentation School, which generated huge interest.
The successful results of the pilot projects were quickly followed by a ‘Come and try it’ five-week programme, where players were invited to play hurling and camogie. The interest was overwhelming, with 146 children attending the first day in Portarlington GAA Centre.
The level of interest carried on for the five weeks and a decision was taken to proceed with official training in mid-January 2014. Then it was then down to deciding on a name for the fledgling club and after a few brainstorming sessions, Banríon Gaels Camogie Club was born.
The emphasis of the club is on fun, fitness and friendship while all the time striving to impart important life skills and values such as teamwork, commitment and respect for others.
Club members have excelled at clubs, schools and at county level over the last six years. In 2018, the club secured its first county title when winning the U12 shield final. Club players have also become an integral part of school teams in Cumann na mBunscoil competitions, with some lining out for Laois at U14 and U16 level. And for the first time, the club will field an under-16 team this year.
Registration of players for the coming season will be held on Saturday 29 February at the back pitch in McCann Park, Portarlington. On the day, training sessions will be held for under-8s, 10s and 12s at 12.30pm, while under-14s and 16s will be catered for between 11.30am to 1pm. And training sessions incorporating the Cáman to Camogie Programme for children under six will begin in the coming weeks.
For more information, check out the club’s Facebook page or phone 083 4888657.