Article featured in the Wicklow People and Bray People newspapers on the determination of one young lady to continue playing Ladies Football with Kilcoole GAA:
A plucky Kilcoole teenager who wanted to keep playing football, has brought the ladies sport back to her local club with the help of her dad.
As Kilcoole GAA and St Anthony’s FC prepare for someone to ‘Win a Kool House’, ladies football at the GAA club is going from strength to strength, due in no small part to talented and determined athlete Chloe Byrne.
As well as providing someone with a new home worth €400,000, the fundraising drive will help the ladies’ sport develop, as well as many other elements within the two clubs.
Three years ago, there were no ladies GAA teams at the Kilcoole club. Today, it has U12s, U14s and U16s, while the goal of returning to senior ladies football is now a very real possibility. And all of this is connected to the determination of one player, Chloe Byrne, to continue playing ladies football.
Having had previous success in senior ladies football winning a county championship in 2011, the Kilcoole ladies football team disbanded shortly after due to events unique to ladies football
‘We were going great guns for a few years but a lot of us got pregnant and motherhood took over,’ said Dawn Britton, the current secretary of ladies GAA in Kilcoole.
And there things stood until Chloe, an avid young footballer, found herself playing with the boys until under 12s level.
With no club to go to, she asked her dad John if he would consider starting an U14s girls team. John agreed he would if Chloe could find the 15 girls to join.
To John’s surprise, Chloe returned a few weeks later with the required number of interested footballers and the rest is history.
‘Our goal is to get back to senior football next year. This group of under 16s have no team to go to after this season so hopefully we can keep the interest going to attract new players,’ said John.
‘We are running a major fundraiser at the moment so hopefully that will help us to upgrade our facilities and make the club more attractive for senior ladies players.’
That major fundraiser is ‘Win A Kool House’, a joint initiative of Kilcoole GAA Club and St Anthony’s Kilcoole FC. The draw will take place in March 2019 and the prize is an A-rated, semi-detached house in the village worth €400,000.