THE future of Kilkenny and Tipperary hurling will face off shortly to help give a brighter future to youngsters in Zambia.
The under-21 hurlers from Kilkenny and Tipperary will lock horns in a challenge match on Wednesday, March 7 in Ballyragget (7.30pm), and all proceeds generated at the ‘gate’ will go towards the Kilkenny CBS Zambia Immersion Project.
This ‘hurling challenge for Zambia’ will be played under lights at the home of newly-crowned All-Ireland club junior champions, St Patrick’s, Ballyragget. An additional honour for the club on the night will be that, as reigning county under-21 Roinn A champions, one of their own players will captain the Kilkenny team.
The club will also provide the captain for the season ahead.
This match is another of the on-going fund-raising efforts by Kilkenny CBS as part of the Zambia Immersion Project. The CBS have adopted what is known as the ‘WaSH’ programme for 10 Zambian schools run by the Christian Brothers.
On March 25, eleven Kilkenny CBS students, accompanied by five of their teachers, will fly to Zambia for a two week ‘Immersion’ working in the 10 schools being aided. The funds raised will be invested to provide water, sanitation and hygiene facilities, hence the acronym ‘WaSH’.
Zambia is one of Africa’s poorest nations, and basic facilities are often non-existant. Toilet facilities in the 10 schools are very basic, and in many cases are merely open pit latrines.
Former principal of Kilkenny CBS and Thurles CBS, and avid hurling supporter, Bro. Michael O’Donoghue is the driving force behind this project which strives to provide adequate water, sanitation and hygiene amenities in these centres of education which cater for over 10,000 students.
The Zambia Immersion Committee thanked the under-21 managers, Richie Mulrooney and Ken Hogan for their support in agreeing to thie fixture, and also to St Patrick’s, Ballyragget for providing their facilities. Admission to the game is 5 Euro. All proceeds go towards the financing of the Zambian project.
The last time these two groups of Kilkenny and Tipperary players met was in the All-Ireland minor semi-final of 2009.
That was a cracking match with Kilkenny winning by 1-21 to 2-16. Both sides contain some fine players who will be hoping to show their worth at under-21 level.
Kilkenny senior panellists Richie Doyle, Cillian Buckley and Willie Phealn are members of the under-age squad. Tipperary are likely to be backboned by the likes of Denis Maher, John Meagher, Brian Stapleton and John O’Dwyer.