CORK City Council has been urged to build a 50-metre swimming pool to cater for the demand for an Olympic-standard swimming complex on Leeside.
The closest 50-metre swimming pool to Cork is located on the campus of the University of Limerick which is around one hour and 40 minutes away.
Niall Kenny is a member of the Sandycove Swimmers club and is involved in open water swims across Cork.
He said the demand is certainly there for a 50m swimming pool in Cork.
“Absolutely, the demand is there. The city is in the middle of a revamp and I think a 50-metre swimming pool should certainly be part of that,” he added.
“Clubs are being forced to travel to Limerick to train which is not right; kids are wrecked before they even get into the water.
“More and more people are getting involved in swimming because they realise the benefits it can have.”
Mr Kenny explained that in its first year, the Rebel Plunge swim had just 150 participants.
“This year, in its third year, there were 400 and they’re expecting around 500 at the next event,” he said.
“The Lee Swim had more than 500 participants.
“Swimming events in Cork are growing every year and if you look at the swimming calendar last year, there was a swim almost every weekend,” he added.
“The Tivoli Docks, which is currently earmarked for housing, would be an ideal place to build it.
“There’s good access to it, plans for cycle lanes and infrastructure so it would be easily accessible for people. There’s no point building a sprawling expanse of houses with nothing for them to do or enjoy in the area.”
There are only two Olympic standard swimming pools in Ireland, in Dublin and Limerick.
The 50m swimming pool at the University of Limerick was Ireland’s first Olympic sized pool. It measures 50m x 25m, allowing for long and short course training, and has an adjustable floor so the depth can be changed to suit the particular activity.
Swimming clubs from all over Ireland and abroad, including the Dutch and GB Olympic squads, have trained there.