Galway gets Green Light for Regional Aquatic and Fitness Centre.
January 16, 2020
Swim Ireland was delighted to see the allocations towards swimming projects under the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport’s Large-Scale Infrastructure Fund announced by Minister for Sport Shane Ross and Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin on Friday last. Over €11.8 Million has been allocated towards the building and improvement of swimming pools in Galway, Laois, Sligo, Kilkenny, Limerick, Wicklow and Louth.
The Local Authority Swimming Pool Programme closed in early 2000 and while some applications continued to be resourced, the establishment of the new Large-Scale Infrastructure Fund and the announced investment in swimming and pools is very much welcomed. It also signifies real intention by Ministers Ross and Griffin and the Government to follow through on Action 20 of the National Sports Policy - ‘Potential Swimming Pool Projects and a National Swimming Strategy’ and to deliver on the call out of swimming as a priority sport.
Of particular welcome, was the €8 Million allocated to the development of the Galway Regional Aquatic and Fitness Centre. This is a new project that will see the construction of a new swimming pool that will have the capability to host National and International swimming and water polo events. This is a great opportunity to see a first of its kind swimming and water polo facility in the west of Ireland. The Centre would benefit swimming, water polo and all aquatic disciplines at all levels and could be transformative for the sport of water polo in particular.
Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane welcomed the funding saying ‘We would like to the thank Ministers Ross and Griffin and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport for their continued investment in our sports. With swimming recognised as a key sport in the National Sports Policy it is fantastic to see over €11 million invested in swimming pools through the Large-Scale Infrastructure Fund. The investment will support our aim to ‘Get Ireland Swimming’ over the next 10 years, be that through swimming, water polo or any type of aquatic fitness. We are particularly excited about the Galway project and look forward to working alongside the developers and Galway City Council, to grow all of the aquatic sports in the area’.
Speaking on behalf of the Galway Aquatic Community Padraig Smyth said ‘The Galway Swimming and Water Polo community are delighted with the government’s commitment of €8m to the Cappagh Road Aquatic Centre in Galway. This will allow our clubs to develop swimming and water polo significantly in the Galway area. A key issue for us has been access to pool hours and this new development will triple the pool space available in the area and enables the facility to accommodate water polo and swimming side by side. This will greatly increase our pool access and enable us to expand our fit-for-life programmes. We currently have players from 7 to 70 and we will be able to expand hours for beginners and our competitive players across under-age and senior teams as well as growing our masters programme. We would like to thank Galway City Council, our local TDs Noel Grealish, Hildegarde Naughton and Sean Kyne along with Swim Ireland and the Minister for Sport, Shane Ross for supporting this proposal and seeing the value of our vision to the long-term health and well-being of our community.’
Following on from Friday’s allocations, Swim Ireland also welcomed the Government’s additional announcement on Monday of funding to explore the possibility of a National Water Sports Campus in Dun Laoghaire.