Bernie Patterson cuts the ribbon on Mayo NS Multi Use Games Area, with Laois Sports officer Ann Marie Maher, Cllr Padraig Fleming, school board and parents council members and pupils.
A small rural Laois school has officially opened an all weather pitch after winning its first ever sports grant.
Mayo NS which has 40 children and two full time teachers, was previously relying a grass pitch that was often waterlogged.
School secretary and parent Bernie Patterson alerted the school to the possibility of getting a Clár Rural Development grant from the Department of Rural and Community Development in 2018.
The school won the grant in 2018 and together with some fundraising and a donation from the Parents’ Association, they raised the €40,000 to build the new pitch.
The Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) was completed in May and the children are using it for everything from soccer and GAA to tennis.
Teacher Nicola Rowan was grant co-ordinator along with her teaching colleague Liam Lalor.
“It means they can go out in bad weather and play becuase the new pitch has good drainage and they won’t get their clothes wet. The other pitch gets waterlogged and constantly needed to be reseeded and rolled. Now we never have to worry about it,” she said.
The pitch was officially opened on Thursday June 13, with Ms Patterson given the honour of cutting the ribbon.
Also attending was Clare McCarthy School Principal, Ann Marie Maher Sports and Leisure Officer with Laois County Council, Cllr Padraig Fleming, members of the Board of Management, Parents Association and all the pupils.
The school is now applying for a second round of funding to put up fencing and ball stops on the pitch.