Comment: Neptune Basketball needs support to secure future of the stadium 

Comment: Neptune Basketball needs support to secure future of the stadium 
Action from the National Cup Semi-Finals at Neptune Stadium, Cork last weekend

The Neptune Stadium has needed a new roof for several years.

Water is already damaging the floor of the iconic basketball venue.

The Neptune Club have been trying to get government grants to fund the necessary work, at a cost of just under €150,000.

So far they have had no success.

This is a project that is worthy of support.

It is time now for all local TDs and public representatives to put the pressure on to ensure this vital work is funded. 

Yesterday we reported the comments of Neptune Chairman, Paul Barrett, who said: "If we get another bad winter, I fear more damage will force us to shut the stadium down".

Is it possible that the officials who control the government's Capital Sports Grants scheme are not aware of the sporting and social significance of the Neptune Stadium to the whole community in Cork?   

That grants scheme has been going for three years and it is very disappointing that Neptune's applications have not been successful.

A new application is now up for consideration.

Hopefully those assessing it will have an appreciation of the tens of thousands of young people who use the stadium every year.

In basketball alone, it caters for everyone from the age of six up to senior level.  And that is not just members of the Neptune club.

Everyone involved in the sport in the city and county gets the opportunity to play there.  

The stadium also hosts a range of other sports including karate, Judo, and indoor soccer.

Wheelchair basketball is played in the Neptune and international teams at various levels train there.

The weekly bingo night, every Tuesday, provides an excellent social outlet for local people.

John Barrett expressed astonishment that in the grant process, Neptune was designated as being in an affluent part of the city.

The Department of Sport were reported as saying this information came from the census.

But while Blackpool and the surrounding areas are fine communities, it is simply wrong to call them affluent, particularly if it means those communities are being ruled out of funding for their sporting facilities. 

This is a matter that needs to be sorted out as a matter of urgency, so it is time for time for public representatives to unite and champion this home of champions.  

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