Neptune Raise the Roof Classic

Neptune Golf Classic committee members pictured in Barney Golf Club for the launch of their fundraising golf classic.

Neptune Basketball Club will be hitting the golf course next month as they hold the Raise the Roof golf classic to raise funds for essential work on the roof of Neptune Stadium.  Blarney Golf Club is the host venue for the event which takes place over three days in August.  The classic starts on Thursday 12th August and runs through to Saturday.  There’s an early bird offer of €180 on Thursday and teams on Friday and Saturday are €200.

Neptune have been battling to raise money for essential repairs to the roof of the stadium, and they received a boost earlier this year when they were allocated funding under the sports capital programme.  “We received capital funding for the purposes of repairing the roof at the Stadium” explained Paul Barrett, Chairman of Neptune Basketball Club.  “In an effort to raise the remaining funds required Neptune In conjunction with Blarney Golf Club and proudly sponsored by Tony & Catherine O’Connell of Direct Blinds are hosting a raise the roof golf classic at Blarney Golf Club on August 12th, 13th & 14th.  We’re asking everyone to please support this worthwhile cause and help protect the stadium for future generations of Cork Basketballers.”

Dan O’Shea, Captain Blarney Golf Club pictured with Tony O’Connell, Direct Blinds and members of Neptune Basketball Club at the launch of their fundraising golf classic.

The main sponsors for the classic are Cork company Direct Blinds.  “We at Direct Blinds are pleased that we are in a position to once again support Neptune Basket Club” said Tony O’Connell from Direct Blinds.  “We are acutely aware of the impact Neptune Basketball Club has had and continues to have  in developing well rounded adolescents and the importance this has on our society.  We hope that the general golfing fraternity recognizes this and gets behind this great cause.  We wish Neptune Basketball club the very best as they endeavour to keep the roof over the heads of our next generation.”

Neptune Stadium opened in 1985 and for close to 40 years has been a sporting and social home for Blackpool and beyond.  While basketball is the primary game, “the Shed” has also hosted wrestling events, mixed martial arts and boxing matches.  It has been an election count centre, an exam centre, and has hosted several large scale parties.  All of the ancillary events helped Neptune to finance the capital and operational costs involved with running and maintaining the venue.

When it opened in 1985, Neptune was the only basketball club in Europe to have its own championship level arena.  That was a measure of the success of the club in building and fitting out the purpose built venue.

For 15 years it hosted the national cup finals, an action packed weekend where the finals were broadcast live by RTE in front of a capacity crowd in excess of 2,000 people.  It hosted the Harlem Globetrotters on their visit to Cork in the early 80’s and the soul legend BB King in two concerts in 1989 and 1990.  Since it opened in the 80’s it has hosted a weekly bingo night which also helps fund the venue.

Now nearly 40 years old, and following over a decade of repairs, the rook needs a major overhaul at a cost of over €180,000.  Despite missing out in 2019, Neptune were allocating funding from the recent Sports Capital programme.  The funding provides a good start for the project but the club has a big target to reach.

The three day classic is one of the key fundraising activities the club has planned.  As well as entering a team, anyone wishing to support the fundraiser can also sponsor a tee box for €100.  The organising committee of Clifford Peyton, Kieran Fitzgerald, Cathal Flaherty and David O’Brien report that there has been plenty of interest in the event and they are well on their way to filling the timesheet.  Anyone interested in entering a team can contact the club by emailing neptunestaduim@gmail.com or by calling Cathal O’Flaherty on 083 4126574.