Finn Valley Rugby Club, Donegal newest rugby club, will celebrate another major milestone in its short history this Sunday with the official opening of its new playing fields.
The fledgling club, which is into its third year in existence, will open it playing pitch and training area at Millbrae, Stranorlar, adjacent to the Finn Valley Athletic Centre.
The official opening will be carried out by the club,s honorary president and presidential hopeful Sean Gallagher. Leading Ulster Branch of the I.R.F.U. Officials Laurence Caldwell (President) and John McKibben (Honorary Secretary) will also be present for what is a historic day for the Finn Valley club and a momentous day in the development of rugby in Donegal.
“It is a huge day for us and one we are really looking forward too,” said Paddy McMenamin, Honorary President of the club.
“We have come a long way in a few short years and it is a great credit to the small band of people who have worked so hard over the last two and a half years to bring us to where we will have our base and playing fields.”
The new facility is on lands owned by the Finn Valley Athletic club and is adjacent to the Finn Valley Centre and contains a main playing pitch and a training area.
The club also has an arrangement in place with the athletic club for the use of their facilities, dressing room and function rooms for holding meetings and social gatherings.
The club, which was formed less than three years ago and has been in the main concentrating on the development of underage rugby in the Finn Valley, will field a team for the first time in the coming season in the Northern Section Minor League.
“The club has really flourished since it was formed. We had 60 children training and playing mini rugby last year and we hope that number will increase to 80 this season.
“And we are really looking forward to having a senior team for the first time this year and playing in the Northern League. Our first game is in October and we currently have 25 senior players in training for the start of the new season and we are really looking forward to that and see it as the next logical step in the club’s progression.
“We also have appointed a Rugby Coaching Officer, Barry Laverty, and he will coaching in all the schools in the area from September and that will also help to grow the club and introduce more young people in the area to rugby.”
The club draws its players from the local area of Ballybofey and Stranorlar and also stretches out to Lifford, Convoy, Raphoe, Fintown and Barnesmore.
Sunday’s official opening will take place at 2 pm and will be followed by an afternoon of activities on the new facility, which includes a friendly game between Finn Valley and the Gardai and underage game between Finn Valley and the Tir Chonaill RFC.
The officer board and committee of the Finn Valley R.F.C. is as follows: Paddy McMenamin (Honorary President), Gerard Doherty (Vice-President), Kate Boyle (Honorary Secretary), committee Barry Laverty, Damien McGlynn, Catherine McMenamin and Louis Gallen.