Newpark Hotel Kilkenny to Kampala Appeal
Inspired by a passionate plea from young Ugandan students for hurling and Gaelic football equipment, Newpark Hotel Kilkenny has launched a charity appeal to build a GAA pitch and clubhouse in Uganda. The hotel is also sponsoring Kilkenny GAA legend Aidan Fogarty and Newpark’s Escape Health Club Assistant Manager Sinead Brennan to fly to Uganda for the first All-Uganda Championship next March and provide several skills and training sessions while there.
The Newpark Hotel Kilkenny to Kampala fundraiser aims to raise at least €20,000 to ensure that Uganda GAA can continue to provide equipment and dinner for each child after training, with proceeds also going towards securing final payment for 3 acres of land for a GAA training pitch and clubhouse on the outskirts of Kampala.
In addition, Newpark Hotel is sponsoring retired Kilkenny GAA All-Star and Dancing with the Stars legend Aidan Fogarty and Assistant Manager at Newpark Hotel’s Escape Health Club Sinead Brennan to go to Uganda for a training blitz with the Kids ahead of St Patrick’s Day and to coincide with the All-Uganda GAA Championships in March 2023.
Moses Amanyire and Robert Bakaze, who now act as the club’s trainers, are PE teachers and initially introduced GAA to their school on a trial basis after seeing videos on YouTube and Tiktok of Hurling and Gaelic Football, and since then, it has grown as word got around of how much the children enjoyed playing. Realising that the homemade Ugandan hurls made from Mahogany were unsuitable, the club called for “previously loved” GAA equipment from wherever they could source it, which was publicised here in Ireland by John Walsh of the Irish Society in Uganda.
Galwegian John Walsh, who is part of the Irish Society in Uganda, has a leg in both cultures, being the dad of two half Ugandan half Irish little girls, said “We are incredibly grateful to the Newpark Hotel for taking on our cause and raising much-needed funds. I was fortunate to grow up in Ireland and surrounded by the opportunity to play sports on my doorstep. Unfortunately, the access Irish children have to sports facilities are a luxury in Uganda that very few children have access to. We want to do what we can to change that in Uganda, and with the tremendous support from Newpark hotel, we will be able to finally begin to build a home for the club and expand Gaelic Games to thousands of children here in Uganda for years to come”.