Swim Ireland pop-up pool opens in Blessington, campaigners hope next step will be permanent installation

SWIM Ireland’s pop-up pool was officially launched on Monday and will remain in place at St Kevin’s Community Hall in Blessington until the end of December.

The pool is approximately 1.2 meters deep and the water can be heated to 30 degrees making it ideal for teaching children and adults to swim during the winter months.

There was a huge turnout at Monday’s launch, including members of the local community, Baltinglass Municipal District elected officials, Senator Pat Casey and MPs Jennifer Whitmore, Steven Matthews and John Brady.

Deirdre McCormack, chair of the community pool campaign group for West Wicklow, is delighted the pop-up pool will remain in Blessington until the end of the year, and will also enhance their plans for a permanent pool for the west of the county .

“It was great to see so many people present at the launch, and many representatives of the public were also present. Public swim sessions started at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning when there were already plenty of people enjoying the pool.

“You can book online through Swim Ireland or through the West Wicklow Community Pool web and Facebook pages. Many local schools have also booked sessions and a range of lessons are offered, from young beginners to more advanced swimmers. The Women’s Shed has booked classes and there will also be classes for adults and special classes for autism.

“The pull-out pool is only 1.2 meters deep so people can stand at the bottom if they don’t feel too confident. There are also flotation devices available for children, allowing them to float until they develop their confidence.

“The pop-up pool will give people in our community the opportunity to learn how to swim, exercise and stay active this winter. We hope this brings our community closer to the development of a permanent swimming pool and sports complex here in West Wicklow.

The pull-out pool is also equipped with a ramp and winch, making it accessible to many members of the community.

The Municipal District of Baltinglass is the only Municipal District in Wicklow without a public or private swimming pool, so generations have missed the opportunity to learn to swim.

Sarah Keane, CEO of Swim Ireland, said: “We are delighted to be working with campaign group Community Pool for West Wicklow to bring the pop-up pool to Blessington. It’s a first step on the way to this local community and it’s a perfect way to show the demand for such a facility.

“Swimming is a vital and vital skill for every child. We hope the local community will reap the benefits of pool access over the next four months and look forward to welcoming people of all ages and abilities to experience the pool and take advantage of the opportunities available.

There have also already been requests from the local scout troop to take a training course to help them earn their lifesaving badge and interest from sports clubs to include aqua fitness classes in their training programs of team.

Deputy Jennifer Whitmore said: “I am delighted that the pop-up swimming pool from Swim Ireland has arrived in Blessington. This is an exciting and important event for the West Wicklow community that will have huge benefits for local schools, families, businesses, community groups, sports clubs and anyone in the area who wants to learn swim or stay active. The pop-up pool also provides an important and unique opportunity to demonstrate the real need for developing a permanent pool and leisure facility in West Wicklow.

Deputy Steven Matthews said: “Huge credit must go to the Pool for West Wicklow campaign team who have worked so hard to get to this point. I have worked with them for several years and this is an important step in their campaign. I am really looking forward to the pop-up pool opening and seeing the huge benefit it will have in the community. »

Deputy John Brady said: “It is absolutely brilliant to see the pop-up pool opening in Blessington taking place. This follows months of collaboration between Swim Ireland and the Pool for West Wicklow campaign. As a longtime supporter of a swimming pool in West Wicklow, I was delighted to support the planning app for the pop-up pool, so to now see the pool finally open is a credit to all who have worked so hard to make it happen.”

About Richard Chandler

Check Also

Afterthought safety at many Chennai pools

According to recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau, 9.3% of accidental deaths in …