The multipurpose sports facility is situated at the TUS Clonmel Campus
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visited Clonmel today to officially open the €5.5 million Clonmel Sports Hub development which is situated on the TUS Clonmel Campus grounds. The multipurpose sports facility has been developed by Technological University of the Shannon (TUS) in partnership with Tipperary County Council.
Tipperary County Council and TUS worked in partnership to provide matched funding for the project and to finalize the grant application to develop the facility to international sporting standards. The Clonmel Sports Hub campus features a 400-meter IAAF-approved athletics track, a skatepark, walkways, cycleways, a playground and a cycle (pump) track. The project also consists of tower buildings and associated site works, as well as floodlights for the athletics track and public lighting for all other areas.
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar received a tour of the new Sports Hub to witness first-hand the positive impact that the facility will have on the local community and region. During the tour, the Taoiseach also spoke with the family of Andrew Kearney who worked passionately on the project but sadly passed before its completion. Andrew’s widow Audrey and family unveiled a bench in his memory.
Speaking at the event, Mr Varadkar said, “Congratulations to all involved in bringing Clonmel Sports Hub to fruition. It’s wonderful to see a local authority and a higher education institution joining forces to build a state-of-the-art facility developed to international sporting standards, that can be enjoyed by the whole community.”
“As a doctor, politician and former Sports Minister, I am absolutely convinced that taxpayers’ money spent on sport is money well spent. It’s not just about physical and mental health. It’s about building communities, increasing participation for all and enabling high performance athletes, who give us so much pride and pleasure, to succeed. In the past ten years, we have invested almost half a billion in new sporting facilities all over Ireland. If we keep the economy strong and stick with the right policies, we can invest even more in sport in the next ten.”
The Sports Hub will provide services for local clubs, schools, groups, TUS students and the general public with world-class facilities, delivering a platform for young athletes to develop their skills and ensure Clonmel has a competitive advantage in developing the town as a destination and venue for regional, national and international events. Anchor tenants for the Clonmel Sports Hub will include Clonmel Athletic Club, Clonmel Cycling Club and Clonmel Triathlon Club.
Speaking at the official opening of Clonmel Sports Hub, President of TUS, Professor Vincent Cunnane said, “Clonmel is a university town, and this project is a manifestation of what that can mean. We are very proud of the partnership between Tipperary County Council and TUS and of the collaborations with business and sports clubs which brought this facility about. I would like to congratulate everyone involved in the development of this state-of-the-art facility here in Clonmel. Together with Questum and our Digital Campus, there is a real impact resulting from having a Technological University located here in Clonmel in terms of the economy, the quality of life and the ability to attract and retain people in the region.”
Joe McGrath, Chief Executive at Tipperary County Council, said, “This is another great day for Clonmel and the broader region in terms of bringing first-class sports facilities to the town and I would like to acknowledge and thank TUS, our partners in this and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Urban Regeneration Development Fund who provided the majority of the funding, matched by Tipperary County Council and by TUS, along with the private funding made available. I would also like to acknowledge the three clubs who will be tenants here. This is a facility that is going to be available to people for many years to come and will be a great contributor to the economic and social life of Clonmel. I encourage everyone to come and see this fantastic facility for themselves.”
The 1.88-hectare site for the Clonmel Sports Hub was provided by TUS, and along with the matched funding from TUS and Tipperary County Council, the project was funded under the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage Urban Regeneration Development Fund (URDF) programme. In addition, substantial funding has been provided by local businesses SEPAM, CAMIDA, Boston Scientific and Abbott Vascular as well as the facility’s anchor tenants, Clonmel Athletic Club, Clonmel Cycling Club and Clonmel Triathlon Club.