Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: UCC to develop Centre of Excellence for Sport...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UCC to develop Centre of Excellence for Sport...

First of all, a bit of background to this story. Back in August 2011, I had a story about the UCC grounds at Curraheen, otherwise known as the UCC Farm being developed into a Science and Innovation Park. The Farm is popular with a lot of runners as it is one of the few areas near Cork City that is away from traffic and the soft surface is easier to run on than the hard concrete and tarmac of the footaths and roads.

This news item was released by UCC on Monday, the 16th of January 2012...

Acquisition of lands at Curraheen
University College Cork (UCC) and the Munster Agricultural Society (MAS) have jointly acquired 125 acres of land on the western outskirts of the City at Curraheen.  The site is strategically located within a short distance of the Curraheen interchange on the N25 Ballincollig by-pass with significant road frontage onto the Curraheen Road.

The 100 acre lot to the south of the by-pass will be divided between UCC and MAS with MAS also acquiring c. 25 acre lot to the North of the by-pass.  UCC has continued to increase its investment in sporting facilities to continually improve its widely renowned student experience. UCC intends to create a new Centre of Excellence for Sport to cater for the needs of the University’s 60 sports clubs. UCC intends to develop world-class grass and all-weather pitches, modern changing and indoor support facilities at the new Curraheen site.

UCC’s sports facilities at the Mardyke are undergoing significant redevelopment through a major 12m. investment programme in the Mardyke Arena and the Mardyke Pavilion which is nearing completion.
This investment will enable an important regional strategic initiative as this new development will free up the university’s existing lands at Curraheen for the widely acclaimed Cork Science & Innovation Park while providing outstanding sports facilities for the university’s student population of some 20,000 students.
MAS intend to run its successful Summer Show at the lands in June & July.  The Society also intends to develop a significant Sport and Community Facility at the site.  The strategic acquisition allows both bodies to progress key development initiatives and the bodies are committed to work together on shared facilities where possible.
President of University College Cork, Dr Michael Murphy said: “We have been looking for an opportunity like this for some time and we are delighted to have achieved this strategic acquisition for the further development of sport and physical education. It will position UCC as the country’s leading institution for university sport.”  He thanked the Higher Education Authority for its support in pursuing the opportunity.
The Chairman of the MAS, Mr Eddie Barrett said: “The MAS has for over 5 years been seeking a new site, and the acquisition of these lands, coupled with the re-establishment of its links with UCC is a very significant milestone in our 200 year history. The Society’s principles of the encouragement of Agricultural, Industrial, Educational and Scientific Pursuits are well supported by this new development.”

The Irish Examiner has a piece HERE


Anonymous said...

I didn't see any mention of facilities for Distance runners in that article John - Sport these days just seems to mean GAA, Rugby and Soccer. In the refurbishment of the Mardyke track there has been no talk of resurfacing it with a proper MONDO surface.

Brian said...

This sounds alarmingly like the three card trick that UCD pulled last year. Pretend a new sports track and further sports facilities will be built at an alternative location on campus as a justification to dig up the existing UCD track on safety grounds. Then the minute it is dug up claim that the new facilities will be built when funds become available and turn the site of the old one in to a temporary car park!!

The upgrade to the Mardyke is ongoing and I believe it will have an indoor sprint track (2 lanes? or so) but I worry about the outdoor one at the Mardyke now. This was due to reopen last December according to blurb released by UCC but building works continue and I wonder, like the previous poster, will any work be carried out on this track in the coming years on the basis that there "may" be one built out in this new facility. This seems unlikely as it is adjacent to the existing one at CIT. Could we soon be seeing the demise of another track?

Anonymous said...

I believe there should be more co-ordination between the two universities.

There is absolutely no need for 2 running tracks so close to each other.

I belive there is more development potential in the lands in Curraheen (more open space/parking/access) so why pump more money into re-developing the track at the Mardyke?

I still can not understand why The Sports Council and Athletics Ireland do not concentrate the majority of our recoures in developing sprints and field events (i.e. jumps/pole vault/shot putt/sprints) and race walking. Long term they are our best chances of achieving medals and being technical events warm weather climates are not always necessary. If we have a decent indoor arena to train in we would not have to export our best athletes and have them spend Tax payers money supporting other Countries economies.

There still seems to be too much emphasis put on Cross Country and distance events when the chances of winning medals when competing against the Africans is so limited.

At the end of the day outside the small bubble of the athletics community the public really only care about one thing "How many medals did we win" not about anything else regardless of the level of competition (i.e. European/World/Olympic Games)

Anonymous said...

The track at the Mardyke will be re-layed shortly (next 2 months).

Anonymous said...

You can see the exact location on the Sherry Fitz sales blurb here -

Anonymous said...

Why is there no urgency to have an indoor full size 400m athletics track/stand in Cork?. This would double the length of the training season and encourage youth in athletics.The cheap option would be to cover the CIT outdoor track and use the Mardyke( Flood zone) for county athletics while the work is ongoing. UCC contribution for use should be to provide rugby training pitches at Curraheen where the existing pitches at CIT could be used for carparks.