New development horizons are in prospect for Athlone Boat Club with news that the local prominent sporting organisation has received €400,000 towards the construction of a new clubhouse on their current Accommodation Road site by the River Shannon.
Welcoming the news, Minister of State, Kevin 'Boxer' Moran, acknowledged the news was a major boost to a club which has been at the heart of Athlone's sporting activities since 1837.
“This is fantastic news for Athlone Boat Club which has been at heart of the town’s sporting activities since 1837. The club currently has a total membership of 140, mainly consisting of youth members and the proposed new clubhouse on the present site will extend their boat storage space and provide indoor rowing facilities and dressing rooms," Deputy Moran stated.
The estimated cost of the new clubhouse is €700,000, with the approximated costs of demolishing the old building, the new pile driven foundations, the flood defences and ground works being €180,000. The €400,000 from LEADER is for the main build to complete the project.
“The club has a long and successful tradition of teaching rowing to youths in the community and competing at youth, senior and master's level throughout Ireland and Europe. They organise one of the best Irish Regattas at Coosan Point each year, with crews travelling from all parts of the country to participate in the popular event. In recent times, they have started a new event to complement the River Festival which brings recreational rowing races to our central location in Athlone," Minister Moran continued.
Athlone Boat Club's strategy is to create a family-friendly community club by expanding their membership to adults, parents and adaptive rowers (i.e. rowers with special needs ). They also plan to provide indoor rowing during off peak times to adults, learn-to-row classes for retired adults and late starter young adults and tour-rowing for visiting overseas rowers.
“The proposed new clubhouse, which has received full planning permission will provide a new and exciting presence on the River Shannon and which will also be architecturally pleasing to the eye,” Minister Moran concluded.