Big plans for Bigwood

The tennis court area in Bigwood which will be developed into a play facility for children.

The tennis court area in Bigwood which will be developed into a play facility for children.

MEMBERS of a community in South Kilkenny are endeavouring to provide local children with a top class playground facility.

Residents in the Bigwood area have come together to form a committee to help build a play park for the children of the locality.

As with so many similar community projects, lots of hard work and determination are required along with the goodwill of many people in order to ensure such plans are realised.

Ahead of a fundraising night organised by the committee, I spoke with one member from the Bigwood Park Committee about the project and the work involved in turning their dream into a reality.

“The need for such a park in Bigwood has been talked about for a long time,” explained local resident Anne-Marie Fox.

“Parents have expressed concerns that there is no such facility in Bigwood which can cater for children of all ages. The nearest places with such facilities are in Mullinavat, the other side of Tory Hill, Kilmacow or in Waterford.”

As Anne-Marie explained, locals in Bigwood established the Bigwood Park Committee in order to address this situation and to make every effort to provide a suitable play facility for all children of the area.

“Our aim is to include the refurbishment of the old existing tennis court in order to turn it into a multi-purpose area for football, tennis and basketball,” she said.

“Above the tennis court area is grassland where it’s hoped to provide a park area with a few swings, a slide and various other equipment. The enclosed area will also hopefully include a number of benches.”

Committee members have visited other playgrounds in the nearby area such as Fenor and Passage East in order to gather ideas on what can be done, but also want to ensure they develop their own unique offering in Bigwood.

In order to seek a grant to help fund the development, the committee must first show that they have raised a certain amount of money.

“We’re not going to attempt to apply to get the grant until we have raised €5,000 ourselves,” explained Anne-Marie.

“We’re looking for those who may be in a position to help us to please come on board. We’re not asking anyone to do anything which they can’t do. Just please help out in whatever way you can. We need more support for this project and anyone who would like to get involved would be most welcome to join us.”

In order to bring their plan one step closer to fruition, one of the first major fundraising drives of the Bigwood Park Committee is a night at the dogs at Kilcohan Park, Waterford which takes place this Saturday December 7th.

Doors open at 7pm, with the first race at 7.55pm. Adult tickets cost €10.

Such fundraising events have become increasingly popular for raising awareness and generating funds for community ventures, while also ensuring supporters enjoy a great night out.

“We hope everyone will come along and support us,” said Anne-Marie.

Tickets are on sale from committee members and those wishing to support the fundraiser are urged to purchase their tickets prior to Saturday night, as tickets purchased on the night will not benefit Bigwood Park Committee.

Anne-Marie thanked all members of the Bigwood community who have already helped with the project, including the local parish priest.

“We would like to sincerely thank all the people and local businesses who have already contributed,” she said.

“The provision of this facility will enhance all areas of children’s development. We would love to have even more support and anyone who would like to get involved in this project would be most welcome to join us.”

Hopefully the endeavours of Bigwood Park Committee will ensure local children will have a fun and safe environment in which to play in.

With the dedication and commitment of Anne-Marie and fellow committee members, Bigwood can surely look forward to having its very own play park in the not too distant future!

For further information contact Anne-Marie Fox on 885928 or Michael Freyne on 086-1916122.

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