Independent Downpatrick Councilor Cadogan Enright has helped local young people involved in ‘Urban Sports’set up a club and seek funding for a Downpatrick-based based facility for sports like BMX or Skateboarding.
Councillor Enright said “I met with a large number of young people at the Saint Patricks Centre on 2 occasions last week to help set them set up a formal sports organization. We discovered from Sports N.I. that there were dozens of Urban Sports clubs across the country but no National umbrella organization. Councils have been building facilities for these sports North and South with the latest one being built by Wicklow County Council. I and have requested a meeting with Down Councils Sports and Leisure managers to see if they can be accommodated in the new Leisure centre.”
“There is a big crowd of BMXers and Skateboarders from all the villages in Down District who want a venue in Downpatrick for their sports – maybe in Dunleath Park. These athletic young people use areas around Downpatrick at the moment like St Patricks Square/ St Patricks Centre which has drawn complaints from some quarters. They are entitled to practice their sports and need somewhere they can go to do it safely and with Council approval.“
Cllr Enright chaired a meeting that had been organized on Facebook, where they ratified a constitution, elected a committee and applied for membership of ‘Sported’ to train them how to apply for grants.
At the inaugural meeting Kris Burke from Ardglass was voted in as Chairperson. Kris said “Many of our members travel into Downpatrick from Killough, Newcastle, Ardglass and other areas to meet and compete with each other at the moment around Downpatrick town centre. We want to see if Down Council can set up with a location that would suit better than the likes of Saint Patricks Square, so that we can encourage a wider participation in these sports. Ideally a venue near the bus station like Dunleath Park would suit.”
Matthew Kennedy agreed and said “The whole complex in Dunleath Park is being rebuilt at the moment. There must be somewhere our sports can be fitted in in this huge development. There appear to be several areas of derelict land on the site. We want Council management to meet with us to discuss this and to help us apply for funding to Sport NI and the lotto-run ‘Awards for All’”.