On Sunday 30th January 2022, we had the most wonderful afternoon Laying down our Roots at Ballinteer St Johns. Looking down over our pitches in Marlay Park, each of our age groups from the very youngest born in 2017 up to our adult teams together with others from across our great Club planted 40 trees for 40 years. It was a celebration of each of those wonderful years and all that has been achieved and also symbolised how we are all Laying down our Roots in the special Ballinteer St Johns community.
We planted Scots Pine trees which can live for up to 700 years! Can’t begin to imagine the celebrations around our club’s anniversary then! We have created a special legacy for our Club and it will be carried forward each year when the youngest members of Ballinteer St Johns will plant a tree, starting next year with those born in 2018.
When creating the invitations for “Laying down our Roots”, a member of our dedicated BSJ40 committee commented how the image (see below) highlighted that it takes many roots to grow a decent tree. We are very lucky here at Ballinteer St Johns to have so many committed and hardworking members who through the years to the present day have created a wonderful club. By laying down our roots and creating lasting connections to club and community, we have created a truly great club, Ballinteer St Johns, that is deeply rooted in its community.
A tree for our All Stars and each age group
Here at Ballinteer St Johns, there is a team for everyone, represented by 32 of our 40 trees. Our wonderful All Stars together with each of our age groups from our very youngest born in 2017 up to our adult teams planted a tree and in doing so they were representing our players and teams across all age groups and codes.
Along with our All Stars, the following age groups were represented and a tree planted for each one:
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, & 2006 girls groups, Minor Ladies Football & Camogie, Adult Ladies Football, Adult Camogie were all represented.
2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, & 2006 boys groups, u17 Football & Hurling, U19 Football & Hurling, Adult Football, Adult Hurling were represented.
We then had 8 trees representing the following:
Our First and Present Chairpersons
Our First Club Chairperson, Maurice O’Connell together with our present Chairperson, Darren Chambers, planted a tree together reflecting on and recognising the hard work, resilience and commitment of all those who started our wonderful Club in 1982, the commitment, determination and efforts of everyone through the years as our Club grew right to the present day when that same commitment, drive and effort is still going strong through the work of many across Ballinteer St Johns.
Ballinteer St Johns GAA Club has a fantastic team of volunteers that are the heartbeat of all teams and the centralised functions of our Club. Everyone you notice delivering training sessions, organising events or activities, and undertaking administration work in the club is a volunteer. It is no mean feat! A tree was planted honoring our wonderful volunteers and their hard work, dedication and commitment.
Ballinteer St Johns currently has over 3,700 members including players, mentors, families, social members & lifetime members. They are all part of the wonderful and very special Ballinteer St Johns community. Some grew up in the area and others are from just down the road or across the county and others are from across Ireland and abroad. We are very proud of all our members who have laid down their roots in our community and the part they play in our Club. Our hardworking Registrations team planted a tree on behalf of all our wonderful members.
Our schools have been an integral part of our community for many many years. We enjoy seeing how the local school communities embrace our games and bring so much enjoyment and opportunities to our players to learn our skills and to have the opportunity to play for and represent their schools. Donal Gormley our GPO for many years and now a teacher himself planted a tree on behalf of all our schools and in recognition of the important role they play.
We planted a tree for our wonderful Diaspora who keep in touch with and support us from afar, both abroad and across Ireland. They are always welcome at Ballinteer St Johns when home and will always be part of our wonderful community. We love hearing their messages of support or hearing about their contributions to other GAA communities where they have laid their roots.
Deceased members and friends
We remembered all those who have gone before us and planted a tree to honour their contribution to our club and to our community. They will always be remembered at Ballinteer St Johns & we will be forever grateful for their contribution to and support of our Club.
We are so lucky with our wonderful community wrapped around us here at Ballinteer St Johns. The past two years have shown how important that community is as we all helped and supported each other and those most vulnerable through challenging times. Our community also spreads out to the GAA, LGFA & Camogie communities and all those who support and continue to work tirelessly to ensure our games continue to grow and develop. A tree was planted to represent and acknowledge the importance of community at Ballinteer St Johns.
It is wonderful to see so many who have joined our club and who embrace our games having moved to Ireland from all across the world. Thank you for being part of our great Club and community. A tree was planted recognising so many from abroad who have embraced and play our games here at Ballinteer St Johns.
Special Memories and A Lasting Legacy
We have had so much wonderful feedback about our Laying Down our Roots ceremony and it is lovely to see that it has meant to much to our members and our community. Special memories and a lasting legacy for Ballinteer St Johns were created in Marlay Park on Sunday 3oth January 2022.
Thank you to everyone who helped plant 40 trees for 40 year at our Laying down our Roots ceremony and to everyone for sharing their photos and memories of a very special day. Thank you to the wonderful team at Dun Laoghaire Rathdown for providing a brilliant location for our trees overlooking our pitches in Marlay Park and for all their advice and help in the lead up to and during this event. Thank you also to DLR and our local representatives who provide ongoing support to our club, we really do appreciate it. Thank you to the wonderful BSJ40 committee who have many special events planned for our 40th year, to Kieran Brennan and his team for all their help preparing and helping to plant the trees and to Paul Lundy for the wonderful photos.
Thank you to the parents and mentors for sharing these wonderful photos from across the age groups:
A selection of the wonderful Photos from Paul Lundy Sports Photography are below and more can be viewed here.
What’s next for BSJ40?
Planning for our next initiative is already underway, where we will celebrate our Language and Culture during Seachtain na Gaelige and St Patrick’s Day. Watch this space and our Social Media Channels.