This page will attempt to keep you all up to date with the various activities around development of the club’s new track.
**MARCH 17th 2021** OFFICAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Bandon AC’s Phil Healy summed it up well recently after her fantastic 4th place in the 400m final at the European Indoor Championships,
“Explore so many events, because you never know which is the best for you. Don’t be afraid, and the main thing is have fun. If you know you’ve done your best then you can be delighted with your performance. It is not all about winning and it needs to move away from that mentality and thinking. If you give it your all, and walk off the track happy, then you’re winning for you. If you think you can do better then the next day is another opportunity to try that. I didn’t make finals or win anything until I was 17/18. You’re never too old. Just enjoy it, make new friends and most of all have fun. ”
Bandon Athletic club and the coaches have always had the long term development of the athlete as the primary driving force and it is with that same commitment we are about to embark on a new journey.
Bandon Athletic Club are extremely excited and proud to announce that it has recently concluded the purchase of an 8acre site just outside Bandon. Full planning permission has been granted for the development of a 400m all-weather track, field event area’s and an indoor training facility.
This is a huge step forward for the club and massive vote of confidence by the club in the talent within Bandon and the wider West Cork athletics community.
The site which is located at Clancoolbeg will see work commence shortly with the expectations that the all-weather track will be installed in 2022. The timeline for the development of the indoor training area will be determined by various fund-raising activities the club will be undertaking as well as grant allocations received. The indoor area, as well as having space for sprints and long distance will also include jumps and throws areas.
This development unlike majority of other all-weather tracks in this country will be owned and controlled by the club. Bandon AC for the last numbers of years has been one of the largest Juvenile clubs affiliated to Athletics Ireland, but due to lack of access to our own facilities it has not always been able to accept members and we frequently have a waiting list. Once this development is complete, the club’s expectations would be that it can eradicate waiting lists. Currently athletes frequently travel to Cork or further afield to avail of tartan track facilities, providing better facilities close at hand, will enable athletes to focus on training and recovery and not on travelling time. Our club also caters for recreational sport, which is called Fit4Youth. This aspect of the club is vital to ensuring athletes have opportunities to partake in athletics in a friendly social environment and progress at their own pace while getting all the health benefits from athletics.
Bandon AC which already has great working relationships with local schools and organisations such as Bandon Special Olympics and West Cork Athletics is looking forward to working even more closely with these schools, groups once the development is ready. This is a development which will greatly enhance the wider community and the athletics scene in West Cork.
It has been a long road to get to where the club is now, with a lot of time and commitment from a large number of club members, but some people do deserve special mention. One of the founding members Mr Billy Good has played a large part in obtaining this site and the associated planning permissions. A dedicated Track Development sub-committee put in a huge amount of work in rececnt years trying to find a suitable site and get the planning permission, current members of the sub-committee include Michael Weldon, Paul Kingston, Michael McKeon, David Gibson and Una Hutchinson. Landowner Liam Crowley who has been very helpful to the club throughout the long planning process. As a tribute to all past members, the club decided to make this announcement on St Patrick’s Day, as the club was known as St Patrick’s AC for the first two years after its formation in 1964.
The club will shortly be announcing some exciting fundraising activities to enable this development be completed as soon as possible, we will be hoping that the community of Bandon and the wider athletics community will respond in a positive manner.
This is truly an exciting time for the athletics fraternity in Bandon and West Cork.
*** JUNE 1st 2021 ***
For nearly a decade Bandon Athletic Club have been on the search for a field to help us build our dream, a home to call our own.
The long search for our field of dreams is over we are on the home stretch with the finishing tape in sight. We will soon be entering a new phase in the history of Bandon Ac as we seek to develop top class facilities over the coming years.
It has been a long road to get to where the club is now, with a lot of time and commitment from a large number of club members, but some people do deserve special mention.
One of the founding members Mr Billy Good has played a large part in obtaining this site and the associated planning permissions along with a very dedicated Track Development sub-committee who put in a huge amount of work. Thanks to their dedication we are now ready to start this development!
We need your support now more ever!
*** September 2021 ***
This is an impression of what our track development could look like when completed!
Pretty impressive to think that instead of having to make the trip to Cork or further afield that athletes can make the short trip out the road to train in top class facilities.
No longer a field of dreams, this is now a field of potential.
Club members are working very hard behind the scenes to bring this to reality.
*** December 2021 ****
We are so excited to announce that work commenced on the site of our new home today. The dream is finally becoming a reality!
*** February 2022 ***
This morning, it was announced that Bandon AC was awarded a total of €290,000 from the Sports Capital grant, which is a part of the sports capital and equipment program operated by the Department of Sport.
This grant is a fantastic boost for the clubs fundraising and a recognition of the need to develop sports facilities for Bandon and the wider West Cork Region.
The development will secure top-class athletics facilities for current and future members of Bandon AC without the need to travel to Cork or further for training.
Current works of the track include the levelling and associated drainage works being carried out in the coming months. The laying of the track is targeted for the spring of 2023.
Bandon Athletic Club would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who assisted in this successful application including Christopher O’Sullivan TD for his support and for highlighting the project in the Dail, Athletics Ireland for their backing, our highly supportive local politicials and Councillors such as Senator Tim Lombard, Marie O’Sullivan, Sean O Donovan, the County mayor The Mayor of the County of Cork Gillian Coughlan and everyone who supplied their invaluable assistance with this funding. We are also welcoming enquiries from businesses and individuals who wish to support the club on its track development journey.
*** March 2022 ***
Hedge planting on the new site took place on Tuesday night. Thank you to Liam Crowley previous owner of site who helped facilitate the night and to all individuals who gave up their time to help!!
*** August 2022 ****
Minister Jack Chambers visited the site and was very impressed with the work that is being carried out
*** December 2022 ***
Current Track development
*** March 2023 ***
Quick look at the track development journey. The development committee and fundraising committee are working hard behind the scenes to lay the traten track by the end of Summer. On March 18th members of the club planted trees/bushes around the wider perimeter of the new track. Thank you to all members who turned up to help! approx 60 new trees were planted.
*** May 2023 ***
As of May 12th 2023, the external lights are currently being connected. The outline of the track can be seen. The club are still looking to do some fundraising to help us complete the laying of the track and have it ready but next year.
*** December 2023 ***
It’s been a slow few months with the development of the track. A problem with draining arose with the infield. There is two decisions currently being decided between the development committee with the hope of track laying progress to start by summer 2024. The fundraising committee have been busy with plenty of applications for grants. The ligthing and kerbing has been fully completed. In December the club launched the ‘lotto’ with the hope it will provide the necessary funds to support the development and allow the for the constant funds needed for future years.
*** January 2024 ***
On January 30th 1964 the club in which is known today was formed on North Main Street Bandon. On its 60th anniversary the lights surrounding what will the track were swtiched on!!!