A small basketball club with a big heart, located in the picturesque village of Currow is celebrating a phenomenal year. This week the Kerry Area Basketball Board (KABB) announced that St. Bridget’s Basketball Club is to be presented with the prestigious ‘Club of the Year Award’ for the year 2020.
Making the announcement, David Ahern, the executive secretary of the Kerry Area Basketball Board, said they were very pleased to confirm St. Bridget’s as the Kerry Club of the Year for 2020.
All Round Successful Season
“The club was unanimously selected by the board having enjoyed a successful juvenile and senior season and we wish to congratulate the officers and the club on the award,” said Mr. Ahern.
Previous winners include: St Mary’s, Castleisland in 2019; St Brendan’s, Tralee in 2018 and Glenbeigh Falcons in 2017 – to mention a few of the more recent recipients.
The club currently caters for more than 130 players ranging in age from U-10 to senior grade with ambitious plans to establish a basketball academy for players as young as six years of age.
Major Honour for Club and Officials
“This is a major honour for our club and, for our hard working coaches, parents and wonderful team of volunteers who work tirelessly for the club,” said Chairman Con Dennehy,
“They ensure our young players have a sporting and social outlet that teaches them so many valuable traits on their way to becoming caring and socially conscious adults.
“Our young players are a credit to our community and achieving the KABB Club of the Year award is testimony to this,” said Con.
Club Founded in 1989
St. Bridget’s was established in 1989 as an additional sporting club in the parish. The founding members included: Fr. Liam O’Brien, Johnny Brosnan, Liam O’Connell, Mike Geaney, Mary Brosnan, Con Dennehy, John Sommers and Jimmy Galwey.
Over the years the club won numerous Kerry, Munster and All Ireland Community Games titles in addition to KABB titles.
A number of players including Liam Brosnan, Maura Brosnan, Denis Walsh, Maeve Galwey and David Cronin have been selected on Irish under age teams.
Successful if Shortened Season
The 2019/2020 season has been a very successful period for the club with success in a number of competitions prior to the Covid 19 sporting restrictions.
The U-18 Boys team reached the division 2 final loosing out narrowly to Caherciveen. The U-16 boys were top of division 2 prior to the suspension of the league in March while they were also in the plate final but lost to Caherciveen.
The U-14 boys squad won division 2 of the county league and the division 2 shield and narrowly lost the plate final to TK Bobcats.
Top of the League
“Our girl’s teams were also on the winners’ podium this year. The incredible senior ladies team, most of them valued coaches in the club, won the division 2 cup final with Aishling Ní Shuillebháin presented with the MVP in that final.
“This team was also top of the league prior to the sporting shutdown in March. Our talented U-16 girls team reached the division 2 plate final but lost to TK Bobcats.
“An excellent season for a relatively small club thanks to the dedication and skills of our amazing coaches.”
Since December the club has hosted a Christmas Disco and party along with: the 30th annual local basketball blitz; First Aid and defibrillator training for coaches and courses for referees and table officials.
The Secret of the Saints
“The secret to St. Bridget’s success in 2019/2020 is simple, we have phenomenal and hard working officers that are professional, proactive and dedicated to the welfare of our players, coaches and the club.
“Our efficient secretary is Ann Brosnan while PRO Sonja Toomey and our treasurer Eileen McCarthy are extremely hard working.
“All our officers including: Julie Ann Kelly, Anthony Donnelly, Miriam Kelly, Miriam Brosnan and Bertie Griffin are all working extremely hard to ensure the success of the club and its viability long into the future.
A Year of Community Spirit
“We are fortunate to have such a wonderful team. Community spirit shone through this year with a number of parents assisting us with valued sponsorship.
“We received sets of playing gear from sponsors: Elaine Crowley and John Kelly with Oliver Daly presenting basketballs to the club.
“The financial saving resulting from this generosity will help us train more coaches and officials,” said Mr. Dennehy in conclusion.
There was further good news for St. Bridget’s with the announcement that Denise Walsh Lyons won the division 2 Player of the year award and local primary school teacher and coach Seamus Brosnan, who plays for St. Mary’s, won the division 1 player of the year award.