Regional athletics hub recommended for Newcastle West

The development of a regional athletics hub in Newcastle West has taken a step closer to reality with the publication this week of a feasibility study validating the need for the facility, which would serve nine athletics clubs in the mid-west, with the core user being West Limerick AC. The study explored the case for a €1.3m regional athletics hub in the town, and the findings will now be considered in detail by Limerick City and County Council.

Extensive consultation was carried out with key stakeholders including athletics clubs and schools, and it was recommended that the hub be delivered on a phased basis, with phase 1 being the development of a 400m 8-lane athletics track. Phase 2 would involve the purchase and installation of field sport equipment and facilities on a 0.9 acre preferred site on the Cork Road.

The regional athletics hub plan has been endorsed by clubs and the 41 primary and post-primary schools surveyed, which between them have over 2,070 students involved in athletics out of a total population of about 9,000. It has also been backed by other stakeholders including Community Games, Special Olympics and the disabled/special needs sector.

Welcoming the news, Cllr Michael Collins, Cathaoir-leach of the Newcastle West Municipal District, said. “I am pleased that the Newcastle West Municipal District was in a position to fund this important feasibility study. This regional facility would be of great benefit to the area, providing a much needed resource for clubs, schools, Community Games and other users. I also want to commend the local steering group for their initiative and work on this.”

Jim Galvin

, chairman of the steering group, thanked local councillors for their support to date. “The steering group looks at it as an opportunity, not only to invest in a facility for athletics and sport, but…to invest in the health and wellbeing of the community in the region.”

A range of options are available to enable Limerick City and County Council to participate in the development of the new regional athletics hub and to influence the business model to be used to operate and run the facility into the future. 

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