The Kilkenny Arch Club was established in 2011 due to a need being identified by parents in 2010. It was strongly supported and established with the much needed help of the local Carers Association and the National Federation of Arch Clubs in Ireland.
The club is a social outlet specifically for children with extra supports needs or extra challenges and because of these challenges may find it difficult to perhaps successfully participate in mainstream clubs such as soccer, GAA, girl guides, scouts etc.
The national Arch Club ethos is simple: to “provide a secure social environment for people with extra support needs, their siblings and friends and above all to have fun".
Through club activities the hope is to help develop our members social skills, self-esteem and quality of life through a dynamic range of activities. The involvement of parents and siblings in the club meetings and activities is an important strategy to allow members get the most from the experience.
At the moment we have18 members ranging in age from 6 to 14. The club is open to associate membership for siblings and they tell us they enjoy the club as much as their brother or sister. Who knows perhaps one day leading to some of them deciding to become volunteers.
At present we operate a junior club only with membership open from age 6 to 14. However, in time our aim is to operate the Kilkenny Arch Club for different age members. For example, intermediate members age 14 to 18 on Saturday’s from 2.30 to 4.30pm and senior members age 19+ on Saturday’s from 7.30 to 9.30pm.
Our Wonderful Volunteers
Without our wonderful volunteers the club would not exist and we are grateful to each and every one of them for the time they give up to make this social and friendship club possible. Our volunteers cover a range of duties from opening up the premises and setting up the activities, preparing snack time, co-ordinating and leading group activities, supporting our members, supervising the playground and tidy up when the club is over.
When and Where?
The Junior Arch Club operates on average every second Saturday during the school year from 11am to 1pm.
We are very grateful to operate our club's activities from the wonderful SOS Sports Hall, Callan Road, Kilkenny, without which, it would be difficult to find a suitable premises that meets the needs of our club. From time to time the club organise social outings outside of our usual venue, for example, to the Castle Park.
Although our members may join at six years of age playing simply games together, in time hopefully they will form friendships and as they get older they can perhaps contact their friends to see if they fancy going to the cinema or bowling, even outside of club times!
Interested in becoming a Member?
We would be delighted to welcome any new members to our Club. Please find an Application Form here. Once completed please return to our club Secretary for processing. Thank you.
Applications for membership of the Club shall be made in writing to the Committee and are subject to the approval of the Committee having regard to such numerical and other limits on membership (including balancing gender, age, special needs, time of year, volunteers within club, venue) that the Committee may from time to time in its absolute discretion determine.
It is important the prospective members make themselves aware of the ethos and policies of the Club before joining, including signing a copy of our Parental/Guardian Induction Policy. Please see the Club Constitution page for more details.