New era of athletic and community excellence dawns in County Limerick

  • Limerick CEO Pat Daly, Mayor Gerard Mitchell, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Director of Services Gordan Daly at the Limerick Regional Athletics Hub Newcastle West. Photo: Kieran Ryan-Benson
  • Irish Hurdler Tom Barr, Special Olympian Ryan Griffin from Skellig Stars Club, An Taoiseach Leo Varafkar and Irish Long Jump Champion Reete Ademola at the opening of the Limerick Regional Athletics Hub Newcastle West. Photo: Kieran Ryan-Benson
  • 14-09-2023 LCCC Athletics Hub NCW-4 810x456
  • Special Olympian Ryan Griffin from Skellig Stars Club shows Reete Ademola how he throws the javilin at the Limerick Regional Athletics Hub Newcastle West. Photo: Kieran Ryan-Benson
  • Limerick Regional Athletics Hub
  • Limerick Regional Athletics Hub
  • Reece Ademola, Irish Long Jumper  Picture: Keith Wiseman

A new era of sports and community excellence has dawned as Limerick today celebrated the grand opening of the Limerick Regional Athletics Hub in Newcastle West, developed by Limerick City & County Council.

This landmark facility is poised to become a beacon of athletic achievement and community engagement, setting the stage for a brighter, healthier future for residents and athletes alike. 

Located in the heart of Newcastle West, this state-of-the-art athletics hub, officially opened by An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, represents a significant investment in the region's sporting infrastructure. With a total project cost of approximately €4.2 million, this ambitious endeavor has been made possible through the dedication and collaboration of multiple stakeholders. 

The Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr Gerald Mitchell, expressed his enthusiasm about the large capital project, stating: "The Limerick Regional Athletics Hub represents a remarkable investment in our community's health, well-being, and sporting excellence. We look forward to welcoming athletes of all ages and abilities to this world-class facility." 

At the official opening, An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar said: "This is an incredible facility for the community which will benefit existing athletes, and encourage many more people to get involved in sport. Physical activity and sport should be open to everyone, no matter their age, background, or personal circumstances, so the Government has invested more than €1 million in this Limerick Regional Athletics Hub.  

“Limerick has an outstanding sporting tradition, most recently with local athlete Sarah Lavin breaking the national 100m record in Switzerland, and I know this hub will help to produce many excellent athletes for the future.” 

Minister of State for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne, TD, commented: "As a Government, we want to see more people participating in sport and in order to achieve this, we need to have suitable sports facilities in place. I am delighted that my Department advanced this wonderful facility through significant grant assistance under the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund. Limerick is long renowned for its sporting prowess and I have no doubt this new facility will develop many future athletics stars. By investing in grassroots sport, we are also investing in our future Irish sporting heroes. I want to congratulate everybody concerned for their vision and commitment to deliver the project and I wish everyone that uses the facility every success in the future”.

Dr. Pat Daly, CEO of Limerick City and County Council, highlighted the Council's commitment, saying, "This project underscores our dedication to fostering a vibrant, active community. We believe that this hub will be a source of pride and inspiration for generations to come." 

The Limerick Regional Athletics Hub is a testament to the collaborative efforts of various stakeholders, including Limerick City and County Council, the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund, the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media, the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage, the JP McManus Benevolent Fund and the ESB Community Windfarm Fund.  

Together, they have turned a vision into reality, making this facility a true embodiment of Project Ireland 2040's commitment to sports and community development. 

High performance athletic talent was on show already at the facility with Olympians Thomas Barr and Carolyn Hayes taking part in the opening of the track alongside up and coming Irish track and field stars Lily Ann O’Hora and Reece Ademola.  

The eagerly awaited Limerick Regional Athletics Hub is designed to cater to diverse sporting needs and will boast the following features: 

International Standard Athletics Track: This world-class track facility will elevate the calibre of athletes training and competing in Limerick. 

Floodlights and Illuminated Path: The facility will be equipped with floodlights for the track and a fully lit walking path surrounding the track perimeter, enabling safe and convenient training and exercise opportunities during evenings and winter months. 

Field Sports Facilities: The hub will provide dedicated areas for shot put, discus, hammer throw, javelin, long jump, high jump, and pole vault – ensuring comprehensive support for a wide range of athletics disciplines. 

Ample Parking and Amenities: To accommodate athletes and spectators, the hub will offer car, bus, and bicycle parking facilities, along with accessible toilets and water points for added convenience. 

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