Perched on the hill overlooking the front beach, Fountainstown Community Sports Club (“The Club”) is Fountainstown’s hidden gem. Whilst known by Fountainstown’s longstanding residents, many newcomers and visitors to Fountainstown are unaware the Club exists.
Writes Hayley Williams
The Club is comprised of the clubhouse which acts as a community centre of sorts and a sports facility including the pitch & putt course (the oldest in the world), 3 tennis courts, a 5 a side soccer pitch and a basketball court.
The Club was founded in 1936 by a group of residents and since then it has been the heart of the community in Fountainstown and the surrounding areas. The founders met with the objective of “developing Fountainstown and to give sporting facilities to the younger people”.
The Club’s popularity and success has seen a series of peaks and troughs over the decades. From its initial 20 years of success (1936-1956) and a revival in the late 50s and again in the early 70’s to existential threats to its survival experienced in 1956, 1973 and most recently in the late 90s.
The Club’s heyday was the 1970s and 1980s where tennis courts needed to be booked in advance and the pitch and putt course was always busy. Weekly tournaments were held for both children and adults and annual club championship matches were eagerly fought out. The club house was also a very busy venue between movie nights and discos, table tennis tournaments and the Sunday Mass, the club house was always in demand.
Heartbeat of the Community
The Club currently quietly coexists in the community. It is one of the only social amenities in Fountainstown and the only one of its kind in the wider Tracton area. The population of the area is increasing due to a priorities shift driven mainly by the pandemic, people’s rediscovering the outdoors and the ability for many to work remotely.
The Club currently acts as a venue and social outlet to its members who are made up of all age demographics. Kids can enjoy Siobhán’s weekly tennis lessons and will this summer also be able to participate in pitch and putt competitions and kiddy discos. Adults (young and not so young) avail of Olivia’s Pilates class and Margaret’s yoga class. Weekly Mass will recommence on Sunday 3 July, to the delight of all the community (especially our more seasoned residents). Finally, all members will soon be able to enjoy the Club’s movie nights and the infamous club night might even make a comeback! A schedule of events will be released shortly on the Club’s facebook page. The clubhouse is also available for rent by its members, for example an art group meets weekly to paint together.
The Club recently hosted a Members Day (25 June last) to inform members of the activities currently on offer and to demonstrate the Club’s potential to better serve its members and wider community.
Following the recent sad passing of the previous Chairperson, Des Morrissey, an interim committee was formed to manage the Club’s affairs (with a permanent committee to be elected in the Autumn). We hope to reinvigorate the Club and to bring back the magic of its heyday.
Clearly the Club is not living up to its full potential, particularly during the winter months. With the help of some structural repairs to the clubhouse, we hope to attract community groups to use the clubhouse all year-round including toddler/parent groups, an exercise class for the older population and by local clubs. With the installation of Wi-Fi the clubhouse may also be in a position to act as a remote working hub for its members.
This is in addition to promoting the use of its sporting facilities for tennis lessons, pitch and putt tournaments and basketball shoot outs to name a few.
Call for membership and involvement
Our vision is not possible without the continued support of our members and through attracting new members. Currently membership is only €50 per annum for family membership which can be paid online. There are also options for single and corporate membership.
The Club would also welcome sponsorship from local businesses through the purchase of updated equipment to sponsoring social events/competitions. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with expressions of interest.
Your Club needs YOU in its bid to BECOME GREAT AGAIN. Are you in?
Interim committee members: Maire McGillcuddy (Chairperson), Peter West (Treasurer), Hayley Williams (Secretary), Yvonne Kelly, John-Ross Hunt, Richard O’Leary, Peter O’Donovan