Chairman of the Athlone Regional Sports Centre, Cllr. Frankie Keena, has welcomed the opening of a multi-purpose outdoor fitness park at the location which is certain to provide activities for all ages for recreation and enjoyment.
“The overall cost of this project was just short of €1m with the majority of the funds coming from the Department under an Outdoor Recreation grant scheme and the remainder emanating from both the Athlone Regional Sports Centre and Westmeath County Council finances.
“Phase one of this project, the majority of which is free to use for the general public, is now open and includes looped tracks, two soccer five a side astroturf cages, a petanque course, a climbing triangle, outdoor fitness equipment, a half basketball court, a number of picnic tables and seating, two egress points off the greenway, cctv cameras and some biodiversity areas with plenty of green space. Under phase two, which is subject to funding, it is planned to provide a fitness training circuit with numerous obstacles, sensory garden and free wifi,” Cllr. Keena remarked.
The Councillor noted the need to have such a facility available in Athlone with Covid-19 still very much prevalent.
“It was great to witness families taking advantage of the beautiful autumn sunshine this past weekend by visiting this fantastic park, having a picnic and going for a walk. In particular, during these Covid-19 times, it is so important to have these facilities available for individual’s wellbeing,” Cllr. Keena added.
The Councillor lauded the collective efforts of all parties involved which enabled Phase One of the project to come to fruition.
“I would like to thank my fellow Board members of the Regional Sports Centre for all their continued support and advice, the management and staff of the Centre for their excellent work in making this project become a reality and indeed the marvellous support, advice and direction from the Council executive at all times. This great threeway collaboration was the key to the completion of this very successful phase one amenity park project for Athlone.
“It is my intention to push for the completion of the other phases of work in this park as soon as possible but to do this we will require funding. So, as a Council, in order to complete this outdoor fitness park and indeed, to deliver on other pending projects, we need to be in a position to provide some small funding from our own resources. This will pave the way to draw down various major grants from the Department when advertised,” Cllr. Keena concluded.