Members from Co. Wexford’s Raheen Rounders club say they are “beyond thrilled” to be in receipt of the inaugural Club Focus bursary from Beat in association with Eco Solar Energy.
The south Wexford sports club received the €1,000 fund at an event guested by former Irish football international Daryl Murphy amid the ritzy surroundings of Kilkenny’s Set Theatre on Wednesday, August 23rd.
Founded in 2020, Raheen Rounders has grown from strength to strength over the last three years thanks to a laser-focused group of passionate volunteers who all share a vision to build a club that is “fun, inclusive and without agendas or politics.”
Speaking about the club, Raheen Rounders PRO Cáit Foran noted that while rounders “was always part of the community” the sport had faded away in the locality after the original rounders club ceased to be in the early 2000s.
Since the reboot, the club has been a hive of activity every Thursday and Saturday with members of their men’s, women’s and mixed teams playing away matches as far afield as Galway and Cavan. Now supplied with a much-appreciated cash injection from Beat, the club hopes to build on its equipment reserves and add a junior team to its arsenal, which should blood a new generation of rounders players in this picturesque pocket of Co. Wexford.
A key part of Raheen Rounders’ appeal is that aspiring members don’t need to be GAA stalwarts to take part. Nick Moore, a player on the club’s mixed team, said those tempted to join shouldn’t be put off by a lack of experience. “Most of the people that come in here have zero background in the sport”, he said. “It’s just throw, run and catch – simple as that!”
After presenting Raheen Rounders with the bursary, former Irish International and Newcastle United player Daryl Murphy lauded the Wexford club for its refreshing attitude towards getting people of all skill and fitness levels involved in sport. ''It's fantastic to see the amount of passion and dedication that each of the clubs has shown here tonight. For a club that is relatively young in age, the amount of dedication and enthusiasm they show to people of all ages and abilities is great to see and I wish them the best of luck in all they do and congratulations.”
The recipient of the €1,000 bursary was chosen entirely by a public vote, which took place on beat102103.com.
Here is the full list of 2023 Club Focus candidates:
- August 2022 – Rockwell Rovers GAA, Tipperary
- September 2022 – Dunbrody Archers, Wexford
- October 2022 – Cool Lane Horse Riding Club, Waterford
- November 2022 – Wexford Swimming Club
- December 2022 – Japanese Martial Arts Centre Bagenalstown, Carlow
- January 2023 – Waterford Hockey Club, Waterford
- February 2023 – Spartans Volleyball Club, Kilkenny
- March 2023- South East Boxing Club, Wexford
- April 2023 – Institute of Self Defence, Waterford
- May 2023 – Kilkenny Storm Ice & Inline Hockey
- June 2023 – Bagenalstown Cricket Club, Carlow
- July 2023 – Raheen Rounders (Bursary Recipient), Wexford
Following the event, Beat CEO and Programme Director Gabrielle Cummins said: “We’ve been blown away by the calibre and variety of monthly Club Focus candidates. The dedication shown by club volunteers across the board is nothing short of inspiring. For Beat to be in a position to shine a spotlight on both the clubs and the people who breathe life into them is an honour. A massive well done to this year’s bursary recipient Raheen Rounders.
A representative from Beat’s Club Focus sponsor, Eco Solar Energy, added: "Clubs are the building blocks of every community, they instil pride and develop a sense of belonging, congratulations to our winner, we hope this bursary goes a long way in helping your club to continue to grow within your community. We’re delighted to put our name on this positive, community-focused initiative.”