Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD, today announced €700,000 Swimming Pool support fund as part of COVID-19 Supplementary Grant Scheme in addition to the €2.5 million funding package for swimming pools announced in July. Ireland Active welcome the announcement by Sport Ireland, and the acknowledgement of the struggles of swimming pool operators and the sport of swimming. Ireland Active were appointed by Sport Ireland to administer the swimming pool grant scheme, supported by partners Swim Ireland.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Joe Cosgrove, Chairperson of Ireland Active said: “Investment in swimming pools will help communities across Ireland continue to access a safe environment for a life-saving skill and sport, swimming. Along with a range of other aquatic programmes, 300,000 people swim per week in Ireland as a means to keep active. Local leisure centres, hotel and community swimming pools provide a key resource in local communities, particularly in these winter months as people look to indoor activities. Today’s announcement further acknowledges the financial difficulties of swimming pool operators whilst closed, as swimming pools incur the same operational and maintenance costs as they would open. While we still face the challenges of re-opening with reduced capacities, support announced today will provide some essential funding needed to ensure the survival of swimming pools across the country.”

Speaking on the overall €5.8 million in COVID-19 Supplementary Funding for Sport, Minister Martin commented: “The Government recognises the ongoing struggle experienced by the sports sector and the ongoing uncertainty faced by National Governing Bodies and clubs as we move in to 2021. In November we announced an unprecedented €85 million in funding to support the sector and today’s announcement will further bolster attempts to protect the sector and provide some financial stability. The sports sector, and all of the people working and participating in sport, has shown its ability to adapt and persevere in the face of adversity and find innovative ways to be active and engaged. We must continue this work and look forward to a time when we can all return to spectating and participating in sport together”.

Swimming pools provide a vital resource for clubs and communities across the country and it is important that this infrastructure is maintained during these challenging times. This investment will help swimming pool operators continue to provide safe and essential service which is vital to sustain swimming and maintain high physical activity levels.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport & Media, Catherine Martin TD and Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD and their officials at the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and Gaeltacht in their continued support of swimming and the operation of facilities in communities across Ireland. Thanks also to Sport Ireland and Swim Ireland for their support.

Read Sport Ireland Press Release here