Minister for Education and Skills Joe McHugh has heralded sports funding worth almost €250,000 for a new hockey pitch at Royal & Prior Comprehensive in Raphoe and gym and training equipment at Letterkenny IT.
“The Royal & Prior and Raphoe Hockey Club have a strong tradition producing top sports talent, including Olympians,” Minister McHugh said.
“A grant of €112,500 has been approved – a huge reward for the school and the community. Now they have got the green light for special resurfacing works to the hockey pitch as part of funding through the Regional Sports Capital programme.
“I want to thank Minister for Sport and Tourism Brendan Griffin and the Department for seeing the benefits of this project especially as this comes on the back of €1.4m for dozens of clubs in the first round of Sports Capital last week.”
Some €112,500 funding was approved under the Regional Sports Capital Programme for Royal & Prior and Raphoe Hockey Club while Letterkenny IT was approved for €98,000.
The Minister said: “This is a huge boost for LYIT as well, providing new gym and outdoor equipment for the teams, clubs, students and everyone else using their facilities.
“In the long run it will help keep people involved in sport, encourage more people to keep fit and train.”
Minister McHugh added: “Hockey is riding the crest of a wave with our women’s team going from strength to strength and bringing players from across the island to compete in the green shirt and set their sights firmly on Olympic glory in Tokyo 2020.
“I hope the investment on the ground in Royal and Prior will reap more rewards by providing a top quality surface to help the current crop of players excel and to encourage more young people to take up the sport.
“Raphoe and the Royal and Prior have a brilliant sporting tradition with the likes of Richard Eaton and Sabrina Barnett in hockey, Olympic badminton star Chloe Magee and family not to mention all those behind the scenes, coaching and playing sports and knows where these top class facilities will take the school and the local team. I wish you every success.”
Fine Gael election candidate Councillor Martin Harley said: “This is tremendous news for the area. There is a big community in the county who are so supportive of the sports at Royal & prior and the Raphoe Hockey Club. It is a great boost for everyone associated with hockey and with only a small number of applications being approved it’s a sure sign of how the Government will support sports in the regions.”