Emotional National Lottery Video of Tipperary Soccer Club Highlights Importance of Sport in Irish Communities

Emotional National Lottery Video of Tipperary Soccer Club Highlights Importance of Sport in Irish Communities

A football club at the heart of a Tipperary town, which has benefitted from National Lottery Good Causes funding, has featured in an emotional video online which tells the story of how a local young girl’s illness and subsequent passing brought a Tipperary community together and led to the club’s home ground being named after her.

Emotional National Lottery Video of Tipperary Soccer Club Highlights Importance of Sport in Irish Communities

Pictured is Timmy Heffernan Captain of Cullen Lattin AFC men’s senior team

This comes as the latest allocations sporting clubs and projects who have qualified for funding through the Sports Capital Programme, part funded by the National Lottery Good Causes fund, which saw 994 sporting projects all over Ireland share more than €37 million in funding.

Cullen Lattin AFC, based in Cullen in Co. Tipperary, named their home ground Aisling Park after a local young girl, Aisling Reardon, tragically passed away after a battle with a brain tumour. Cullen Lattin AFC put a lot of efforts into fundraising to help send Aisling to the United States for a vital operation in 2003. Even though the surgery was successful, the tumour returned a year later and Aisling passed away in 2004 at the age of 13.

Emotional National Lottery Video of Tipperary Soccer Club Highlights Importance of Sport in Irish Communities

Pictured is Maryrose Hourigan Captain of Cullen Lattin AFC Ladies senior team

The Riordan family are a key part of the community and Aisling’s father, Gerard Riordan is Child Welfare Officer and Treasurer of Cullen Lattin AFC. The video, which can be viewed here, features Gerard as well as the club captains of both Cullen Lattin’s ladies and men’s senior teams. (Download link for video below)

Speaking in the video, Gerard described the legacy Aisling has left behind. He said: “She’ll always be remembered, maybe when we are all long forgotten, hopefully Aisling Park will still be here.” A plaque dedicated to Aisling at the ground’s front gate reads a line from the poet Philip James Bailey – ‘We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths’.

Emotional National Lottery Video of Tipperary Soccer Club Highlights Importance of Sport in Irish CommunitiesThe club has built two full-size floodlit soccer pitches which are fitted out with state-of-the-art drainage and has an impressive 90 seater covered stand for supporters. This was enabled by €95,000 in funding through the Sports Capital Programme over the past five years.

Cullen Lattin AFC have a total of 19 men’s, ladies and underage sides but their facilities are not just for footballers but for the whole community. The club hall is used by a variety of local groups including the local Neighbourhood Watch organisation and the local youth club as well as many more initiatives. As the town has no community centre, this club is a valuable meeting space for the community. The club are also in the process of creating an outdoor gym that elderly people in Cullen and Lattin can use free of charge.

About the Sports Capital Programme

The Sports Capital Programme is part funded by proceeds from National Lottery games and is administered by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. It is the primary means of providing Government funding for capital projects to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level.

A spokesperson for the National Lottery said: “Ireland is a very proud sporting nation so at the National Lottery we are extremely proud that our funding goes to all of these clubs from the Sports Capital Programme. Approximately 30 cent in every €1 you spend on all National Lottery games go back to Good Causes and many of these causes are sporting clubs. It is important to remember that for so many towns, these aren’t just sport facilities. They are vital hubs for the entire community who may be members of different groups that meet at the facilities – which are in essence community centres”

The 2018 round of funding was announced recently by Minister for Shane Ross T.D., Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, and Brendan Griffin T.D. Minister of State for Tourism and Sport. Funding is distributed to the beneficiary clubs and causes via the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. This year, the department saw the highest level of interest ever with 2,337 individual applications received. Take a look at the full allocation list here.

Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games goes back to Good Causes in the areas of sport, youth, health, welfare, education, arts, heritage and the Irish Language. In total more than €5.4 Billion has been raised for Good Causes since the National Lottery was established 32 years ago. In 2018 alone, more than €228 million was raised; the equivalent of €625,000 a day in support for local Good Causes in communities across Ireland.

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