In tandem with the recent positive news of a changing landscape within the heart of the town, Athlone Regional Sports Centre has announced news of two major development projects to take place at the state of the art multipurpose facility next year.
Currently attracting in excess of 300,000 visits to the sports centre on an annual basis, the facility will be further enhanced in 2019 with the development of an outdoor fitness park and the replacement of the existing astro turf surface.
To include jogging trails, a link to the greenway, an obstacle course, functional training space and a children’s area, the outdoor fitness area will complement the existing internal fitness suite, while a resurfaced astro turf facility is certain to attract local sports clubs to the facility on an ongoing basis.
Both projects will necessitate investment in the region of €1m with grant approval of €800k forming part of the allocated budget.
Speaking at the Athlone Municipal District meeting, Regional Sports Centre Manager, Liam Cunningham, noted that the sports facility was perennially busy with many swimming and fitness classes at regular capacity.
“Our swimming classes are at full capacity and to expand the services we offer in this regard, which me must do, it will come at a higher running cost.
“Our motto is to ‘get more people more active more often’ and as all inclusive progressive sports facility providing a high quality variety of services, together with loyal and experienced staff, we have been a focal point for the community since our doors first opened,” Mr. Cunningham commented.
The Centre Manager acknowledged that the outdoor fitness park was a fantastic initiative and would be a tourist attraction when opened, particularly for those passing the facility along the greenway.
“With nine astro turf pitches within a fifteen minute radius of the sports centre, we felt it was the right time to enhance this particular facility as the present surface needs relaying and when it is completed we hope to see its increased usage,” Mr. Cunningham enthused.
The resurfacing of the astro turf will cost in the vicinity of €215-€275k with the Regional Sports Centre contributing €180k of the funds with an additional sum of €94,500being secured courtesy of a sports capital grant.
Paying compliment to the support received from the local authority, the Centre Manager noted that it was “testament to the ongoing assistance of the Council as to why the Regional Sports Centre continued to be so successful.”
“With a significant increase in income within the past five years, there is an ever increasing demand to enhance offerings at the Sports Centre and hence, the need for the development of the aforementioned facilities in 2019,” Mr. Cunningham reflected.