DELEGATES present at next Monday evening’s annual Derry County Convention will be the first to receive a working preview of the new state-of-the-art facilities in the newly upgraded Centre of Excellence.
Michael Wilson reports
It is hoped the superb facility, set on a 52-acre site, will lay the foundation for an upturn in the county’s fortunes with the capacity to host 800 children for ‘Go Games’ competitions as well as a 6,800 second county ground capable of hosting inter-county or club championship fixtures as well as first class gymnasium and player preparation/recovery facilities.
The Derry Convention takes place on Monday, December 10th at 7.00pm at Owenbeg which is due to be officially opened when the 2013 playing season gets underway in the New Year.
County Chairman John Keenan is already looking forward to sharing the state of the art facility with club delegates.
‘We’re in a new era with new possibilities and opportunities for the whole Gaelic Games family in Derry,” explained the Derry Chairman.
“We have new management across a lot of our inter-county teams, and after Monday evening, we’ll also have five new county executive officers. Change is needed in any organisation from time to time and change is what is going to happen.
‘Owenbeg is now a state-of-the-art social, administrative and player preparation facility. We now have the capability to host 800 children at Go-Games in the morning, and host a Derry inter-county, or top club championship fixture, catering for up to 6,800 people in our second county ground in the evening. Owenbeg will be a social hub for the Gaels of our county from 2013 onwards, beginning on Monday next.’
Indeed, 2013 could be a watershed year for GAA in the county as International attention visits with the GAA Congress in March. With 2013 marking the 125th year of Derry GAA, the Ulster hurling final, MacRory Cup final, National Scór finals and Féile Peil na nÓg are just some of the events to take place in the county over the next 12 months as the GAA takes its place at the forefront of Derry’s City of Culture celebrations.
‘When convention is over I look forward to sitting down with the new club delegates and our new executive officers. We have a lot of work to do but we are in a great position to do it,’ added Mr. Keenan.