Thomas Davis 2016 Club – A Vision of our Future
On 21 February, over 200 members of the club gathered in the downstairs lounge to debate the perilous state of the club finances. Media coverage of the planned EGM had ensured a big attendance. The subject matter for the night wasn’t easily digestable. However the dynamism and passion for our great club shone through from the many and varied contributions and suggestions from the floor. Men who have toiled on Executive Committees for many years, Parents who took a deep interest in our club when their kids started to play with us, former players who had cast aside the green and gold jersey not only years but decades ago and members who have made their own mark on the social fabric of the club in recent years were united by a conviction that the ideals of our great club remain as valid and worthy as ever and a clear recognition that if everyone does their bit, that the burden of the clubs debt needn’t be viewed as a noose around our necks but rather a catalyst to spurn us on to even greater things. Indeed, from the goodwill that was apparent in the room it was clear to all that our members are indeed prepared to do their bit.
In May, Gerry Peggs and I asked David Kennedy if he would chair a Working Group of members who would be charged with putting meat on the bones of the various suggestions that came from the EGM. From this, the notion of the Thomas Davis 2016 Club was born. While making significant inroads into the club debt is one of the central themes of the 2016 Club, it also seeks to recognise that in itself that objective is best served by targeting enhanced vibrancy in the club generally, greater success on the field, continued investment in the development of our juvenile players and members, and generally by providing an enhanced membership experience to an expanded membership base.
The various facets of the 2016 vision will be driven through our committee system but their success will be dependent exclusively on the buy in to and support for the vision and the initiatives on the part of all our members. If ever there is a time for “a challenge to unite people” as Thomas Davis would put it, that time is now, from September 2011 to the end of 2016. But the prize is significant. We want to establish the most vibrant sports and social club in Tallaght, if not in Dublin. We’re targeting a 50% increase in the number of teams in the club over the 5 year period and a significant increase in our membership base. And we want to achieve more success on the pitch winning leagues and championships at adult and juvenile level in all codes. On the financial front we are planning to increase our membership base to 2,016 (from c. 700) and to raise €2.016 million before the end of 2016, which will have the effect of bringing the clubs bank debt to below €500,000.
We fully recognise that in the current economically challenging times, our members and supporters face their own financial challenges. The 2016 challenge asks our members and stakeholders to play their part and in so doing to make the collective challenge easier. We have designed 4 different benefit plan levels through which stakeholders can support the 2016 initiative, as either a Supporter, a Member, a Patron or a Corporate Sponsor. Starting from as little as €2.40 per week, each plan affords an array of benefits including the potential to win one of 566 prizes each year including cash prizes estimated at up to €350,000 over 5 years. Commitments are sought under each of the plans for a 5 year period. Specific details of the benefits and cost of each plan are set out in the 2016 Club Subscription form which I would urge all members to read carefully. The sporting, membership and financial aspirations of the 2016 Club are completely interdependent. Each can be targeted and achieved in parallel, and in the absence of a club wide commitment could morph to failure in unison also. I would say to all members that by playing your part and rowing in together YOU can help YOUR CLUB to achieve the ambitious targets that are being set in the interests of all of our children and generations of future kids in Tallaght.
Therefore, I would appeal to everyone interested in the development of GAA in Tallaght to support the Thomas Davis 2016 Club initiative in a manner that is financially affordable for themselves. On average we are asking all members to BUY 1 and SELL 2 subscriptions to the 2016 Club. Of course, anyone who can sell more than 2 are encouraged to do so also. I would like to thank all our stakeholders for their support to date and I look forward to your continued support in the future.
Chairman, Thomas Davis GAA Club