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L-R: Swim Ireland CEO Sarah Keane, Minister for Sport Jack Chambers, Deputy Mayor of Fingal Daniel Whooley, Source: Swim Ireland on Facebook

Ireland opens its first pop-up swimming pool

Ireland opens its first pop-up swimming pool

The first of many, it will move around the country every 12 weeks servicing communities that otherwise lack the facilities

This week, Swim Ireland opened their first pop-up swimming pool. The first movable temporary closed structure was first installed in a parking lot at Donabate Portrane Community Centre in Fingal County with two more coming soon in Wicklow and Sligo.

The one in Fingal County was opened at the start of May and will remain at the Donabate Portrane Community Centre until mid-July, after which authorities will move it to a new location. The idea is that these pools will migrate every 12 weeks and meet demand in areas where people do not have access to a pool, or where the local pools are overcrowded.

Furthermore, during the Covid-pandemic, some 500,000 children were denied access to swimming lessons, due to social distancing. Now, as demand is picking back up, there is a large number of kids that need swimming lessons. According to Swim Ireland, a government organisation, there is a lot of demand for swimming space and not enough of it.

Cheap and ready to go pools

The main idea behind pop-up pools is that they are cheap and ready to go. While they will seem unfit for the more experienced swimmers, they are perfect for lessons or for private groups of timid people, who feel too exposed in the larger pools.

Swim Ireland gives the example of Muslim women and people with disabilities who may find the pop-up pools particularly useful, as booking fees for the whole facility are set at 50 euros per hour.

The pool itself holds 45,000 litres of water in a 12 by 3.4-metre basin. The temperature of the water is maintained at a steady 30 degrees Celsius. The facility also features changing rooms, a ramp and a hoist. The whole structure is covered by a heated marquee.

Furthermore, the pop-up swimming pools cost 250,000 euros to buy, which is much cheaper than the alternative – building and maintaining a swimming pool.

Swim Ireland’s CEO Sarah Keane added that their vision is to create ‘An Island of Swimmers’, taking advantage of Ireland’s 6,000-kilometre coastline and 12,000 inland lakes. The pop-up pools will be the training grounds where people have the chance to build their confidence in the water in a controlled environment before exposing themselves to the elements.

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