UNIVERSITY College Cork has announced plans for its new sports park at Curraheen as it launched a strategy for its 55 clubs.
The new facilities will replace the current sports grounds at The Farm on Curraheen Road.
The new park will include a 1,800m running track a 1,300m inner walk, grass and synthetic playing pitches, and a synthetic hockey pitch, along with 297 parking spaces.
It will also include a pavilion to house changing rooms and meeting/dining areas and ancillary structures for equipment and maintenance storage.
The Farm will eventually form part of the planned science and innovation park which has been in the works for over a decade, and is hoped to have the potential to create at least 1,000 jobs by 2028 and up to 6,000 when it is fully developed A new sporting club, Sport for Life Club — Many Tribes-One Team, will be launched to connect players, volunteers, sponsors, supporters and alumni.
A new sports participation programme will also be launched, alongside an annual UCC sports hall of fame day.
The university will also release a new line of UCC sports skull and crossbones branded apparel.
UCC director of sport Morgan Buckley said: “This ambitious strategy is dedicated to unlocking the power of sport and physical activity across all areas of participation, representation and achievement.
“Sport and physical activity is a growing business globally worth over €90bn annually. We have a real opportunity to build new partnerships to develop sport in UCC. We will work with Sport Ireland, the Institute of Sport and National Sports and agencies here in Cork.
“We are committed to providing world-class facilities and a friendly, accessible sporting environment so that sport can be enjoyed at levels.”
UCC has one of the highest rates of student participation in sports clubs among Irish universities, with a combined membership of over 4,000 students in sports clubs.
The Mardyke, the original home of sporting activity in UCC, is celebrating its 300th anniversary in 2019. UCC has sported and played there since 1911.
Students were asked to vote on a proposals to charge them an extra €50 a year to provide the facilities but they rejected it in 2017.