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.
The funding allocation is an acknowledgement of the importance of the sector and the impact swimming has on the nation’s health. Ireland Active was appointed by Sport Ireland to administer the swimming pool grant scheme, supported by partners Swim Ireland.
Speaking about the announcement, Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media Catherine Martin TD said, “while it is appreciated that the last two years has been a difficult period for swimming pools across the country, the funding announced by Sport Ireland and Ireland Active today will help provide financial stability to this important sector.”
Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers TD added, “swimming Pool operators demonstrated their resilience throughout the pandemic. It is important that this resilience continues. The funding announced today will assist swimming pool operators to continue getting communities across the country active and providing a real-life skill. This has never been more important and is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing.”
Swimming pools provide a vital resource for schools, clubs and communities across the country, and it is important that this infrastructure is maintained going forward. This investment will help swimming pool operators continue to provide safe and essential service which is vital to sustain swimming and maintain high physical activity levels.
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. Swimming greatly contributes to the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities right across the country.”
Karl Dunne, CEO of Ireland Active added, “the funding being allocated today will provide some much-needed relief for swimming pool operators who have been severely hit by the pandemic and continued raising energy costs. This investment will help swimming pool operators continue to provide essential services which is vital to sustain swimming and maintain high physical activity levels. The recognition of Government around the operational and financial difficulties, along with the high energy costs of maintaining swimming pools is very welcome and will provide some much-needed financial assistance to swimming pool operators.”
Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane commented, “it has been fantastic to have Swim Ireland, Ireland Active, Sport Ireland and Government all working together to support pool operators and recognising the important role they play in helping to deliver and provide swimming opportunities in Ireland. We would like to thank all parties involved for their support in this welcome boost for swimming pools, the funding will go a long way to supporting the pools rebuild after a difficult two years, in a sector which is vital for the health and safety of our nation.”
Source: Sport Ireland