SPORT Ireland and Ireland Active have announced a €3.2 million funding package for swimming pool operators across the country. This funding forms part of the €73.6m in Covid funding to support the sport sector announced by Government last December.
€346,756.52 has been allocated to pools across Cork city and county. Among those who received funding were the Cope Foundation Therapy Pool which received €10,343.92 and St. Gabriel’s Hydrotherapy Pool in Bishopstown which received €9,403.57.
Some hotels also received funding, including the Castlemartyr Resort Hotel which received €7,170.22 and Fota Island Spa which got €8,580.76. In total, 34 pools received funding under the scheme.
Fianna Fáil TD for Cork East Deputy James O’Connor said: “This is welcome support from Government for swimming pool operators who have struggled over the past two years with the pandemic. That period showed how important exercise, mental well-being and physical health was to each one of us and now it is time to get back out swimming in our local pools once again.”
Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Una May, said: “The Irish Sports Monitor highlighted swimming to be the second most popular sport amongst adults with 300,000 participating each week. Swimming pools provide a vital resource for schools, clubs and communities across the country.”
However, Sinn Féin TD for Cork North Central, Thomas Gould, has expressed disappointment at the lack of funding provided to community pools.
“Learning to swim is a vital developmental milestone for children and that needs to be encouraged. A key part of this has to be the provision of affordable swimming lessons in local swimming pools,” he said.
“While I have no doubt that many of the pools awarded this funding are an integral part of their community, the reality is that we need to be prioritising local community pools over other for-profit private enterprises.”