Two new sports buildings worth almost €15m were officially opened at the University of Limerick yesterday by Minister of State, Patrick O’Donovan, Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. The Munster Rugby High Performance Centre and the new UL 25m Diving Pool are adjacent to and connected with the existing UL Sport Arena.
The new 25m x 10m x 4.5m pool includes 1m and 3m Olympic standard spring board diving facilities, and is linked to the existing 50 x 25m pool through a glazed screen. With a depth of 4m the pool features a floating floor and dividing boom, and can be subdivided for technical events such as 1m & 3m Springboard Diving, Synchronised Swimming and Sub Aqua training while also catering for the Schools Learn to Swim Programme and the Advanced Years Aqua Jogging classes.
Additionally the new pool can also support the existing Olympic sized 50m pool as a warm up facility for major National and International Long Course Championships. The project provides three additional squad rooms with associated showering facilities and toilets.
Costing €8.9 million the funding for this project was met, in part, by financial support from University of Limerick students.
With tenants Munster Rugby already well settled in the Munster Rugby High Performance Centre on the UL campus will further cement the on-going and successful relationship between Munster Rugby and University of Limerick.
This project consists of a dedicated high performance training facility for Munster Rugby. It comprises extensive gymnasia, weight rooms, video analysis facilities, physiotherapy treatment rooms, lecture facilities, 65-seater auditorium, changing rooms, recreation and dining facilities as well as facilities for the entire administrative function for Munster Rugby.
Over 250 guests attended the official launch event at UL, including Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland and Garrett Fitzgerald, CEO Munster Rugby.
Speaking from the event UL President Don Barry said “there is no doubt that this University plays a unique role in Irish sport. What we have on offer here, academically and through our infrastructure, has drawn so many locally, nationally and internationally to campus and our research output continues to make an impact in the world of sport. One building will home a rugby team that has won the hearts and minds of a nation through their determination and grit, a team who, by just their presence here on campus, will inspire generations of up and coming athletes and sports people. The other building will complete our contribution to Ireland’s national and international swim and aquatics ambitions and will assist in nurturing those at the infancy of their swimming career right up to Olympic level.”