I’d like to welcome old and new members to the club for the 2013 season, Belgium GAA’s TEN year anniversary. I’d like to say a massive thanks to the outgoing committee for their hard work in 2012 and in previous years. This year’s committee stands on the shoulders of giants!
Last year was an incredibly successful year for the club both on and off the pitch. I’m sure if it wasn’t for the financial support and fundraising, our trophy cabinet would not be as full. We received fantastic support from our sponsor’s (DeValera’s and the Old Oak) and all club members helped fundraise to make sure that our Treasurer had an operating surplus at the end of the year. Considering our expenditure for 2012 was €17,464 with pitch rental alone at the VUB costing €9420, that was no mean feat. To sustain this level of investment we need a huge effort again in fundraising and a generous sponsor.
I’m delighted to announce that for 2013, De Valera’s, the Old Oak and 6 Nations will be our sponsors. We’ve signed an exclusive sponsorship agreement with them this week which holds expectations from both sides – the club will be paid a fixed amount for fifteen (or possibly more) official events that we hold in either venue, including the end of year dinner, quizzes, post tournament nights out and watching some of the main GAA games on TV. This Sunday our sponsors play a massive role in the organisation of St.Patrick’s Day, securing sponsorship from drink companies and utilising contacts to get the club great deals on the facilities we use on the day. With the sponsorship, the club saves a significant amount on VAT which is important for this year if we order jerseys/gear/equipment. In total the club will benefit €4,000-€4,500 through sponsorship. In return for this, we have agreed to support and promote our sponsors in all communications and at pitchside for Belgium tournaments. Again like last year we’ve agreed not to promote any other bar in Belgium GAA emails, facebook etc.
One of our aims for this year is to involve as many of the wider Irish/Belgian/international community in club events. This year we will receive a grant of €5,000 from the Department of Foreign Affairs for a project which the heroic Shane Ryan created entitled ‘Brussels Community Gaelic Football Parish league’. We will run a parish league throughout the year that involves the wider Belgium/Irish/international community, especially the kids club. More info will follow from the code officers. I’d also like to create some open events where people who have never played Gaelic Games and who are possibly scared of official training, could come and pick up a hurl/football and learn about our sport and our club. I’d especially like to target those who are slightly older and who haven’t played in years due to family commitments.
Finally I’m making a personal plea to all members to strengthen the Belgium GAA Meitheal by volunteering and helping the club in 2013. Each member should recognise the costs of running the club and the effort people put in to make sure this club is such a success. Some members pour their heart into the club – by researching new drills for training, organising gear, picking up rubbish after tournaments and cleaning toilets after the Fr.Ted ceili, or moving goal posts with mice in the back of a van etc. We need your help at all times. If you feel like you could contribute to the club by writing a post match analysis, or buying bananas in Colruyt or anything else you can think of please contact us. Tell your friends, invite them to our events and most importantly get people playing our wonderful Gaelic Games.
Go n-éirí libh go léir,