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29 May 2022

Kilkenny’s youth clubs are flying high again

Kilkenny’s youth clubs are flying high again

Youth clubs from all parts of Kilkenny came together to celebrate getting back into the swing of things.
The clubs from Kilmacow, Mooncoin, Ballyragget and Johnswell - all affiliated to Ossory Youth - headed to Castlecomer Discovery Park for a fantastic interclub day held to mark the return of club activities after the coronavirus pandemic.
Sixty-five young people and 13 adult volunteers took on the Zipline, Octagon, Archery and Team Challenges with most of the young people typically aged 12 to 14 years experiencing them for the first time all in an atmosphere of freedom and excitement.
Castlecomer Discovery Park, an amazing amenity in the county, was the perfect setting for a marvellous day of outdoor adventure. It was made possible by Healthy Ireland funding accessed through the Children and Young Peoples Services Committee (CYPSC) in Co Kilkenny. The funding allowed facilitated clubs to hold activity classes on their club nights with local halls reverberating to Zumba, circuit training, box fit and dance.
Volunteer-led locally based youth clubs, affiliated to and supported by Ossory Youth, have long been at the heart of youth service provision in Kilkenny. However, in common with the rest of society impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, youth clubs had been unable to open their doors to young people for most of the last 18 months.
Volunteers
Volunteers are at the heart of every club and reopening existing clubs, as well as establishing new ones over the past six months, has seen existing volunteers returning to the fray and new ones being recruited, trained and supported. The four clubs who enjoyed their day out in Castlecomer typified this - the Ballyragget and Mooncoin clubs are brand new while the Johnswell and Kilmacow clubs were resuming after the Covid-enforced break. Other areas are currently being supported by Ossory Youth to establish clubs, with the hope that the network of volunteer-led clubs in the county will be stronger than ever.
Ossory Youth is continuing to invite communities to consider establishing a youth club. The local youth club is at the heart of the community where young people meet their friends in a safe place, have fun, and take part in a wide range of activities.
Support
Youth clubs are for young people and run by young people in partnership with the adult volunteers. Youth clubs could not operate without volunteers from 18 years upwards and new and existing clubs and volunteers will be supported every step of the way by Ossory Youth. New clubs and volunteers will be Garda vetted and receive training and advice about all aspects of operating a youth club, including importantly child protection training.
Support will be given in relation to all aspects of a weekly club programme of activities with Ossory Youth resources available to clubs. Interclub activities will be offered and a dedicated staff member is in place to support clubs in every aspect of establishing and running a club.
People interested in starting a youth club and volunteering, can contact Patrick Bookle in Ossory Youth, tel 056-7761200, 087-2129006 or email pbookle@ossoryyouth.com

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