Ballina Basketball Club 1

Ballina Basketball Club win September Gala Gifts for Clubs Cash Prize

13 Sep 2023

We are delighted to announce that Ballina Basketball Club are September's winner of the Gala Gifts for Clubs competition and have won €500 in cash.

Ballina Basketball Club is the proud winner of September 2023’s Gala Retail’s Gifts for Clubs Cash prize!

Starting from September 2022, the club built back from the Covid-19 pandemic period in energetic style. At a roster of 24 athletes it has increased its size from a high point of 20 athletes pre-pandemic.

This has been due to tireless work by the club’s volunteer and coaching contingent. Club treasurer Catriona Gallagher contributed organisational efforts through countless phone calls, financial work and control, and assisting athletes with transport.

Coach Barry Murphy and volunteers Aileen Gough and Jonathan Verry led training sessions with a determination to include all club members, ensuring that everyone had court time and engaged in individual and team activities and development.

The social aspect hasn’t been neglected either, with club stalwart Pops McNamara always present at sessions to help organise social events including Christmas and end-of-year get-togethers.

Jonathan Knight is the longest-standing member of the club, with an involvement that stretches back almost to the club’s founding 30 years ago. This included welcoming the Olympic Torch to Ballina along with teammate and fellow local ambassador Agnes Melvin. He continues to enjoy his club experience: “We train once a week, which I really enjoy. We have mixed teams of men and women, and we play other clubs on an away and at-home basis. My favourite part of being in the club is playing every week, but it’s also great to be able to meet people and make friends.

“We are delighted to win the Gala Gifts for Clubs prize this month, and I’m looking forward to our next match!”

Coach Barry Murphy said: “It is fantastic to have our athletes back in training after summer break. Everyone values these sessions and miss hanging out with friends. We are delighted to receive this generous gift for our club. Thanks to Gala Retail this money will go towards much needed equipment and activity within our club.”

When asked what they planned to do with their cash prize the club answered they would like to invest in new basketballs; new bibs for training sessions; and new team shorts, socks, and tops.

A huge thank you to all the clubs who entered the Gala Gifts for Club competition. If you didn’t win this time around your entry will go forward to next month’s draw so there’s no need to enter again. If you haven’t entered yet, fill in this short form and tell us what your club is doing virtually to engage with your athletes or volunteers.

Click here to view a selection of photos from the club's history - including a snap featuring club members and local Ambassadors for the 2003 World Games, Jonathan Knight and Agnes Melvin, with legendary Ireland football manager Jack Charlton!