THE Clare Hurling Supporters Club launches its 2015 campaign this week in advance of Clare’s opening tie in the National Hurling League versus Galway.
The supporters club reformed three years ago and is hoping to increase membership this year enabling it to continue to support Clare hurling at all levels and not just the senior team.
According to Chairman Mick O’Neill the supporters club is playing a significant role in helping to fund various hurling activities in Clare, from contributing to the senior set-up to financial support for underage hurling in the county, through funding initiatives for the development squads.
“We are about helping all levels of hurling in the county. In the past year we have helped the county board through a contribution to the developments squads, particularly in the area of nutrition as well as the appointment of a strength and conditioning coach.”
O’Neill explains the role played by the supporters club in aiding the preparation of the Clare Senior Hurlers. “For the senior squad we are there to share some of the financial burdens associated with preparing the squad for championship. For example when the squad have weekends away or a training camp abroad, we step in and help defray some of the costs covered by the county board.”
Clare hurling fans who wish the join the supporters club can do so by going online to clarehurling.com and follow the instructions or by contacting a committee member, whose details are available via the website.
Membership for 2015 is now open and for €20 (Juveniles €5) supporters will receive a Clare scarf, car sticker as well as text updates throughout the year about the wellbeing of the team.
On the nights before all matches or on the morning, all members will receive the exact Clare starting team via mobile phone text before it is released to media and the public. Famously, back in 2013, members of the supporters club were the first to find out that Shane O’Donnell would be starting the All-Ireland hurling final replay.
The Clare Hurlers Supporters Club committee consists of Mick O’Neill, Olive O’Loughlin, Amanda Hogan, Michael Maher, Mike Corry, David Fitzgerald, PJ Kelly, Breda Collins and Orla O’Donnell.
Throughout the year the club run a number of fundraisers which this year will include a draw organised by the players themselves. Tickets will cost €5, and will be available from the players, first prize will be a holiday voucher for €1,000 along with a number of runner-up prizes, further details of which will be announced shortly.
Back in the 1970s when Clare hurling was returning to the top table of hurling the Clare supporters travelled to games via train, with the team, an initiative the supporters club are bringing back this spring. The supporters club are hoping to reignite that tradition as they intend to run train to Clare’s away fixtures in the NHL against Cork and Kilkenny, with buses to and from the grounds plus train tickets for members.
For more details see http://www.clarehurling.com or follow them on twitter at @clarehurlingsc.