Swim Ireland’s first Pop-Up Pool splashes down in Donabate

by Rose Barrett
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Rose Barrett

Yes, you’ve read the headline correctly; albeit North Dublin boasts miles and miles of glorious, sandy coastline, not to mention water facilities and clean rivers, there’s still a great need and demand for swimming lessons, especially for young children.

And Swim Ireland (SI) have the solution – just bring a portable, pop-up pool to Donabate, which will serve not only the local community but also the wider Fingal population!

“The pool that comes to the people: Swim Ireland’s first Pop-Up Pool!” wrote SI online.

“As an island nation, surrounded by 6000km of coastline and 12,000 inland loughs,” stated SI, “Ireland averages 120 drownings per year. Now consider the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these figures, when over 500,000 children missed out on swimming lessons…”

Swim Ireland, supported by Sport Ireland and Fingal County Council, want to improve the opportunity and experience for all swimmers, and hence, this innovative solution will be available from May 3 for 12 weeks, right in the heart of Fingal, at Donabate Portrane Community Centre.

The pop-up pool will move to a new location after every school term (with additional pools coming soon to Wicklow and Sligo).

Holding 45,000 litres of heated water, the 12m by 3.4m steel structure will plant itself firmly in the car park of Donabate Portrane Community Centre until mid-July, and Swim Ireland hopes to target some 750 swimming experiences a week.

Cllr Adrian Henchy (FF) welcomes the initiative and stated the facility will be available for the wider community.

“Opening/closing times will be in tandem with the current arrangements at Donabate Portrane Community Centre,” said Cllr Henchy who praised Swim Ireland, Fingal County Council, and the Board of Donabate Portrane Community Centre for all the preparatory work behind the scenes to get this project across the line.”

He noted: “This pool will be able to accommodate up to 16 children at a time. Swim Ireland were inspired by a very similar initiative in the UK, and the indoor pool will be within a structured marquee, fully heated, with changing rooms, etc.”

Along with changing rooma, there will be a ramp and hoist, making this pop-up pool accessible to all.

Swim Ireland want YOU to be part of this swimming adventure! “We will have school swimming, evening and weekend swimming lessons, community groups and private hires available, the opportunities are endless.

“To book your slot, just decide what you want from our menu and click the relevant link at https://www.swimireland.ie/get-swimming/pop-up-pool!

School Swimming Programme

The Pop-Up Pool will have dedicated school swimming lessons running between 9.30am and 2.30pm, Monday to Friday. These lessons are available for all primary aged children and are fully inclusive, catering for individuals with physical, sensory and learning impairments. Class size: 16 swimmers, lesson time: 30 minutes (minimum booking time is 60 minutes – 2 x 30 minutes classes can be delivered within this time)

Bookings can be made by contacting [email protected]

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