Friday, March 10, 2023

FOLLOWING the success of last year’s events with community groups and charities in Co. Kildare, the Curragh Racecourse have announced an even bigger programme for 2023.  Racing returns to The Curragh on Saturday 25 March and this year, for the first time, it will be attended by 33 Gaelic Games clubs from all over the county who have applied to take part in a novel fundraiser for their teams.

Jockey Jessica Maye with racehorse ‘Lily Maguire’ who is owned by the Kildare GAA Supporters and trained by Kildare GAA legend and successful racehorse trainer based in the Curragh Willie McCreery. Photo: INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Each of the 33 clubs have been given the opportunity to sell their own race day tickets to their members and supporters, the monies raised will go towards their club’s infrastructure, equipment, or jerseys. In addition to this, each team will be drawn with a horse running in the feature race of the day, the Paddy Power Irish Lincolnshire, where €10,000 sponsored by the racecourse will be split between the clubs who finish in the first three places. Large crowds are expected to attend from all over the county to cheer on their teams on what will be a family fun day with lots of free activities for kids and all are encouraged to wear their club jerseys and colours. Kildare GAA will have a special Skills Zone next to the grandstand which will provide endless hours of fun for all race goers but especially for youngsters who can try out their skills.

Further plans are in progress to include opportunities for various groups from the Newbridge and Kildare areas and Kildare Sports Groups later in the season.

The Curragh supported a wide range of charitable and community events in 2022 with the objective of benefitting as many people as possible who live and work within the local and racing communities.  These included several non-race day events, most notably the hosting of Relay for Life in July, which benefitted the Irish Cancer Society. Last year’s relay attracted approximately 8,000 participants from the locality and raised close to €100,000 for the charity. Also last year the Newbridge Parishes Race Day in May last, the inaugural Pat Smullen Race Day in aid of Cancer Trials Ireland and the IRFU Charitable Trust Race Day together raised almost €250,000 for their respective charities. The Curragh also hosted the Taste of Kildare Food Fair during the Autumn which gave local producers and restaurants the opportunity to showcase their offerings and generated considerable local community engagement and a very positive response.

Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive of the Curragh Racecourse said “There is nothing healthier and better for wellbeing than being involved in sports and we intend to further embrace that here at the Curragh Racecourse. The county is well known for its strong Gaelic Games grassroots structures and for being the home of horse racing. We felt that this fundraiser was a great marriage of two brilliant sporting traditions. We are delighted to be able to help so many community groups and we look forward to giving everyone a warm welcome on Saturday week and throughout the 2023 season.

Taking part in the Gaelic Games fundraiser for clubs are Round Towers LGFA, Broadford Camogie and the following GAA clubs Round Towers, Moorefield, Sarsfields, Naas, Suncroft, Maynooth, Straffan, Raheens, Clogherinkoe, Allenwood, Monstarevan, Cappagh, Milltown, Kilcullen, Leixlip, Kildangan, Athgarvan, Ballyteague, Caragh, St Laurence’s, Rathangan, Ballykelly, Broadford Hurling, Two Mile House, Ellistown, Eadestown, Carbury, Kilcock, St Kevins, Clane and Rathcoffey.

Contact Newsdesk: 045 432147

More Kildare Sport

Similar Articles