A 50-metre competitive swimming pool could soon become a reality for Galway if an initiative of Cllr Pearce Flannery is backed by City Council.
If supported, the creation of the pool would provide a financial boost to the local economy, offering an ability to stage year-round aquatic events.
Speaking this week, he said that Galway needs a competitive 50-meter pool and we cannot sit on our hands any longer in providing such a facility.
“I was a key driver of the proposed new swimming and sports facility in Cappagh Park which will provide significant benefits to the locality” said Pearce Flannery. “But this is not an either or situation. We have a deficit in our sports infrastructure without a 50m competitive pool and other regions have an advantage over us in this regard. A pool would complement the aquatic infrastructure in the west and enhance water safety and water sports development in a huge way,” he said.
“The financial benefits to the area would be enormous. With large scale competitive events the take up of hotel bedrooms, restaurants, and cash injection to the local economy would be significant” he added. “Now is the time to develop such a facility. I have arranged with the City Manager to meet with a selected deputation from the Galway aquatic community to see how best we can collectively progress this initiative amd he has agreed to do so.
Proposal to Council
“One proposal I am going to explore is how we could simply extend the existing pool at Leisureland. If we extend the existing pool to a length of 52 meters with a moveable boom we could facilitate all stakeholders. We could move the boom and have two 25m facilities for the recreational swimmers, learners etc and we could move it to one end to allow for high performance and competitive swimming.
“This would be a cost effective solution as the existing infrastructure including water, heat and boilers, dressing rooms, plumbing and electric cabling are all in place and the site is easily large enough to accommodate such an extension.
“We must develop a funding model but this is simply a financial challenge that has been met and overcome all around the country so should not be a stumbling block for Galway City,” said Cllr Flannery.
“We must change the accepted paradigm whereby athletes and sports [people in the west of Ireland must travel elsewhere to access top class sports facilities. I was an integral supporter of the Connacht Rugby development as it is the right thing for Galway and the right thing for sport. We must drive the conversation about the provision of world class sports facilities into becoming a reality.
He said that he believes the west in general and Galway in particular must display a greater ambition and vision ambition in accessing top class sports facilities. “We must take drive the sports agenda in a similar way to the Connacht Rugby and Cappagh park proposals. A 50-meter pool would complement these facilities and would enhance the west of Ireland immeasurably” concluded Cllr Flannery.