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Phase 3 - Training Pitch & Car park - 03/12/2015

Wednesday, 26 May 2010 CASTLEDAWSON celebrated the official opening of their new pitch at Broagh Road on Monday evening in the presence of GAA President Christy Cooney. The new floodlit pitch will provide the club with more training facilities to assist its playing members. The pitch is furnished with dug outs, ball catchers and posts, as well as having its own independent drainage system. The evening also marked the opening of the car park which had been extended to assist spectators. Derry GAA Chairman, John Keenan, who hails from Castledawson, was also among the special guests. Keenan held the position of Club Chairman for St Malachy's and he spoke of his honour at being present at the official opening of their new pitch. “As Chairman of the County Board they tell you that one of the nicest things you can ever do is attend a new pitch opening and there is nothing nicer for me than being here at the opening of this pitch in Castledawson. It fills me with so much pride being here on what is a great occasion for St Malachy's. This marks a milestone in the development of the club. I served as Chairman of the Club and on the Development Committee and I take great pleasure in what I see before me. Everyone should be very proud of what we have achieved. It is the aim of every GAA Club in the country to provide the best training facilities for their players, club members and spectators and we have achieved it here in Castledaswon. This is a fitting tribute to the memory of generations past and a dedication to the future of Castledawson Club," said John Keenan. Keenan reminded the crowd of the words the then GAA President Jack Boothman spoke at the last ptich opening, saying: "Jack Boothman said at the opening of the main pitch 'This is a beautiful pitch, the only thing that is wrong with it is there's too much grass on it. When I return I don't want to see grass in the goal mouths or on the penalty spots, when you achieve that you will have a truly marvellous pitch.' I would wish the same for this pitch, may the members of Castledawson make full use of it." It was then left to GAA President Christy Cooney to declare the pitch official open: "It's an absolute pleasure to be here, I would like to congratulate all those involved in the development of this wonderful pitch and you the Club members. I hope you make maximum use of the fantastic facilities you have here. I would congratulate the sponsors, Sports NI for their tremendous support to GAA Clubs and Magherafelt District Council for their support also, with them now of this would have been possible. I would like to thank the politicians for their investment into to sports development and ask them for their continued support. I would like to congratulate all the coaches, club volunteers and all those who give of their time. They are the people who make the club successful." “This pitch is a reminder and a thank-you to the generations who have gone before and an investment in the future. This pitch is a reminder that we can not focus on the past or today but look to the future," added GAA President Christy Cooney. Father Paddy Mackle who has been involved with the Castledawson Club since the 1930s then blessed the pitch.