St Peter's, Warrenpoint plan the way for a successful future

Anne McCormack collecting the Large Club Award for St Peter’s, Warrenpoint, from sponsor Mark Regan, CEO of Kingsbridge Private Hospital at The Irish News School, Club and Volunteer Awards
Picture by Hugh Russell
Neil Loughran

ST Peter’s, Warrenpoint completed a fairly impressive hat-trick last Friday when they scooped the ‘Large Club’ award at The Irish News School, Club and Volunteer awards.

With over 600 members, including around 350 juveniles, the club has enjoyed massive growth in recent years – and has proved itself more than capable of handling whatever challenges have presented themselves.

St Peter’s is fully committed to the one-club model, integrating Gaelic football and hurling with culture, music, Irish dancing and health and well-being. In every sense, it is the hub, the focal point, of the local community.

Speaking at last week’s awards ceremony at Belfast’s Wellington Park hotel, St Peter’s secretary Anne McCormack admitted it was a huge achievement to win the prize for a third time.

She said: “To win awards like this mean a lot to the club, especially to the volunteers. 

“We have in excess of 100 volunteers who give so readily of their time and the fact that we operate the one-club model, there is a great sense of achievement and satisfaction that we are contributing to the community where we live and work.

“It’s a great endorsement of the work that has gone on in the club.”

And the excellent work that has taken place hasn’t happened by accident, but is a result of thorough preparation and clear, well thought-out plans for the future.

With a second five-year development currently well under way, Warrenpoint is bearing the fruits of having such visionaries leading the way.

“We have invested a lot of time and energy in club governance,” said McCormack.

“Our first five-year development plan was launched in 2010 – we look back at it and everything in that plan has been accomplished.

“We’re now working on our next five-year development plan and have focus groups going at the moment. This kind of planning is crucial because it has an effect right across the whole club, on and off the field.

“Because we are an urban club it’s nice to have one area of our community life where we are completely integrated, and where we reach out towards other people.”

The club’s link with local primary school St Dallan’s – who won an Irish News School, Club and Volunteer award last year – has proved integral to the development of St Peter’s.

“There’s a great adage that ‘it takes a village to rear a child’, and that link is particularly important in any community,” added the club secretary.

“I honestly do believe a club like ourselves, working together, can make a huge impact on the quality of the lives of our community, from cradle to grave.

“When we work right across our community, there’s value added for everyone.”

One of the most successful initiatives is the healthy club programme, and plans are already afoot for a new scheme called ‘recipe for success’, which will give the club’s minor teams a lesson in preparing healthy, nutritious food.

“Following on from that, we’re going to develop a six-week cookery course for parents and children. 

“Last year we looked at what is required in our community. We live in a coastal town and during the good weather there are concerns about the kids down at the water, so we ran a water safety course. 

“All of that has really added to what we provide for our children. We remain very pro-active within our local community.”

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