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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Council to Introduce 300 New Car Parking Spaces at Gosford Forest Park

The new environmentally-friendly Eco Grass Protector system being introduced at Gosford Forest Park to create 300 new car parking spaces to meet growing demand.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council will introduce 300 new car parking spaces at Gosford Forest Park ahead of the busy summer season. The additional parking spaces will be available week commencing 21 June 2021, located opposite the existing car park in the main arena field.

This new parking facility, developed using an Eco Grass Protector system, will safeguard the grassed areafrom vehicles and heavy pedestrian traffic by protecting the grass and the grass sod below, stopping the area from getting damaged and preventing vehicles from sinking into the ground.

Made from recycled plastic this environmentally-friendly protection system is simply placed over the existing grass area in the park,retaining and protecting its natural environment. Asgrass grows up through the polyethylene grid it intertwines with the structurebecoming invisible after five or six weeks of grass growth, allowing natural wildlife to continue to graze the area when not in use.

The new environmentally-friendly Eco Grass Protector system being introduced at Gosford Forest Park to create 300 new car parking spaces to meet growing demand.

Lord Mayor for Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:

“The success of Gosford Forest Park has been truly amazing. The park now attracts visitors from all over the province and indeed the UK and the Republic of Ireland, with a high volume of people enjoying all that it has to offer. Due to this success council has been examining ways of expanding the car parking capacity to meet demand, whilst balancing the natural conservation of the area. I am delighted that this environmentally-friendly and reusable eco grass protection system is now being implemented. 

“Parking on the lay-by outside the park has been an issue, but the introduction of these new car parking spaces will substantially help to reduce this problem going forward. I would also encourage visitors to ensure that they ‘leave no trace’ to help maintain the magical appeal of Gosford, which is enjoyed by so many.”

Due to the popularity of the park visitors are encouraged to plan ahead by checking for updates on capacity and further information at Gosford_forest on Facebook before visiting.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Stay Ahead of the Game with Council’s Coach and Club Development Programme

Pictured at the launch of council’s 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr and Chair of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum, Edith Jamison.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is offering local sports clubs and coaches a range of specialised training opportunities as part of its just launched 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme.

Delivered in partnership with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Sports Forum, the Programme will include a mixture of online and in-person workshops, covering topics such as safeguarding children and young people, designated officer, emergency first aid and mental health in sport.

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said: 

“I am pleased to officially launch our 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme. As a council, we recognise and value the important role local clubs and coaches play in guiding and inspiring lifelong participation and success in sport.

“Through this year’s Programme – which offers both online and face-to-face training opportunities – we are committed to supporting the development of clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to ensure the borough’s sporting community continue to excel.”

With workshops taking place from September 2021 to March 2022, the Programme also offers training opportunities around club development planning, income generation, attracting and retaining club members as well as provides participants with the chance to attend practical-based workshops such as creating great sports environments for children, and disability inclusion training.

Chair of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum Edith Jamison said:

“With such a wide range of workshops on offer there is something relevant and innovative for our clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to support their ongoing development. I would encourage all clubs, coaches and volunteers throughout the Borough to get involved and benefit from the great programme on offer.”

Varying per workshop, costs are heavily subsidised and are payable upon registration.

Affiliated members of ABC Sports Forum can avail of these workshops free of charge and will receive separate booking instructions and voucher codes. To find out more about the content of each workshop or to book your place, visit here or download a copy of the brochure here.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

All Stars Summer Scheme Brings Brighter Days for Local Children

An amazing 37 local young people delight in new found skills, confidence and friendships, thanks to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s popular, fun-filled All Stars Summer Scheme.

Based at Gilford Recreation Centre, the All Stars Summer Scheme brings young people with disabilities aged between seven and 17 together to enjoy a range of inclusive activities during a series of weeklong sessions in July and August.

Taking part in everything from nature walks, climbing wall activities, outdoor games, inclusive bike sessions to dance classes, boccia, kurling, arts and crafts and more, participants got the chance to build new skills, increase their confidence and activity levels as well as forge new, life-long friendships.

Joining in on the fun and visiting the All Stars Summer Scheme sessions, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:

“It’s been an absolute joy to meet this year’s All Stars Summer Scheme participants and hear all about the fun things they’ve been getting up to.

“For many disabled young people, the pandemic has had a huge impact on their everyday lives and normal social routines – negatively affecting their growth and development of important life skills. All Stars Summer Scheme is so critically important to these young people and their families as it not only helps provide opportunities to stimulate participants’ social and emotional development but also helps boost their confidence and independence.”

David Alderdice, Community Access Officer, Children with Disabilities Service from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:

“The All Stars Summer Scheme has once again proven to be a fantastic opportunity for children and young people with a disability. A considerable amount of planning goes into ensuring the smooth running of the Scheme, by both council and trust, with council staff demonstrating diligence and enthusiasm throughout.”

Led by qualified instructors and coaches, all activities were adapted and tailored to maximise involvement of all participants, provide fun and excitement as well as exposure to new opportunities. With one parent saying the programme has improved their “daughters’ confidence and enabled them to try new activities” while another parent said the programme has supported their child “to socialise with other children again, helping them gain the independence to have fun away from family.”

David Alderdice continued:

“Together this collaborative approach has enabled children who avail of the scheme to achieve improved self-esteem; the development of friendships and social skills; the opportunity to try new activities; and of course have ‘fun’. This is a great example of two public bodies coming together and collaborating to deliver a quality service that addresses the needs of some of the most excluded children within society.”

Organised and delivered by ABC Council’s Sports Development Department, All Stars is supported by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

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