The opening of the long-awaited new €5.5 million municipal swimming pool in Dunmanway this June has placed Dunmanway at the centre of West Cork for recreation and sport. The new pool is already enjoying increased footfall from individuals and community groups from all over the region.
The development includes a 25-metre swimming pool, toddler’s pool, hydrotherapy pool, sauna and steam room and disabled changing facilities.
According to The Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr. Declan Hurley, the new pool “is a huge boost for the local community.” A long time campaigner of the pool development, Mr Hurley said “this is a vital piece of infrastructure for the town of Dunmanway and the new state-of-the-art facility will provide excellent aqua-sport facilities for the people of Dunmanway and the surrounding area.”
Grainne Caulfield is a swimming instruction coach at Dunmanway Swimming Pool, teaching baby classes right up to Masters. Grainne also runs the Orcas Swim Club, which evolved two years ago out of demand from the children’s swimming classes. “We’re a small club, with only 20 competitive swimmers, but we have some very strong swimmers,” says Grainne.
Intensive lane swimming for adults starts back in October. “As well as competitors like triathletes and open water swimmers, these classes are great for anyone interested in increasing their swimming fitness,” she explains. Grainne is competing herself at Ironman Barcelona in September, so she is delighted to have the use of the pool for some of her own intensive training sessions. “It’s the only public swimming facility in West Cork and it’s very affordable and very accessible to the entire community,” she says. Four swimmers from the Masters Club have been inspired to compete alongside her at the event, so Dunmanway pool will be well-represented!
Hazel Trudgill, Director of Children’s Service CoAction West Cork said that “CoAction is delighted to be able to access this wonderful resource in the town of Dunmanway. The children’s respite service, which is based in Dunmanway use the 25-metre pool on a regular basis.”
Laurna Levis-Holland, Senior Activity Supervisor for Cope Foundation West Cork is thrilled to have access to a hydrotherapy pool in West Cork. Hydrotherapy is the use of water to provide therapeutic effects for any ache or pain and is often used in physical therapy.
Cope Foundation supports people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.
“Prior to this, we would have had to travel to the city and the length of the journey really would have counter-balanced any of the benefits of using the pool,” says Laurna.
“The temperature in the hydrotherapy pool is always a minimum of four degrees higher than the main pool. This increased temperature means that people who are more vulnerable to temperature will be able to completely relax while using the pool.” The increased temperature also promotes pain relief and encourages circulation. The buoyancy of the water allows many individuals to exercise, where they wouldn’t be able to on land.
“Also, as the floor becomes flush with the walkway, it’s very easy for anyone with mobility issues to get in without fear of falling,” says Laurna. “There are two swim chairs available, so wheelchair users can just roll into the pool very easily. The large wheelchair accessible changing facilities allow someone with a disability or mobility issue to be very independent. It’s also a great opportunity to interact with the local community.”
Laurna has already taken a group in to have a look around and says that staff members at Dunmanway Pool have been very accommodating. “We spent a good hour there discussing what we need to facilitate future visits to the pool. The entire project was really was very well thought out and it’s a very inclusive building. We’re really looking forward to using it a lot in the future.”
Dunmanway Municipal Pool provides a variety of activities, from adult and children’s swimming lessons, aqua aerobics and pool birthday parties to intensive lane and triathlon training.
Birthday parties are catered for on Saturdays with fun pool party games.
Aqua Aerobics takes place on Wednesdays at 11am.
For more information on swimming lesson for adults and children call 023 8845349.