By Suzanne Pender
THE parents of Ballinkillen NS pupils are aiming for a slam dunk this summer as they set about turning an unused piece of ground into a wonderful new basketball court!
Parents, staff and the wider community have all rallied together to fundraise for this new amenity, which will combine a basketball and tennis court that can be enjoyed by all the children of Ballinkillen NS.
“It was an old tarmac area on a slope that couldn’t actually be used. Anytime they did, the ball would just roll down the slope,” explained Liz Doran, chairperson of Ballinkillen NS parents’ association. “It was there for a long number of years and just not used, so the PA committee decided that we’d fundraise for a new basketball court.”
The school set to work and over the past few years it has held flag days, bake sales, clothes collections, fun runs and all sorts of activities to raise funds for the ultimate goal of the basketball court. With enough raised to begin the project, the diggers moved in recently, thanks to the enormous support of parents and friends of the school.
“We are a really great groups of parents, who used our own machinery, our own equipment, our own time and expertise to get the project started,” said Liz.
“We’ve now removed the tarmac and levelled it out, using filling from local farmers and parents … everyone has helped out.”
The entire project will cost €20,000, with a terrific €12,000 raised to date – no mean feat for a school of just under 130 pupils with approximately 60 families.
And the final push is now on to raise the additional €8,000, to ensure the new court is laid, fully marked out and has all the necessary equipment such as nets and stands by this September, when the children return to school. A GoFundMe page has been set up and parents are appealing for support over the coming weeks.
“We have a fantastic committee, which is so committed and so enthusiastic. We’re thrilled to get to this point, and the support from our principal Michelle Doorley and our parents has been incredible,” said Liz.
To support the fundraiser, go to the GoFundMe page Donate to Basketball Court Fund for Ballinkillen NS.