The new multi-sport synthetic pitches facility and pavilion for rugby, GAA, hockey and soccer at the National Sports Campus in Blanchardstown were officially opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, on Monday.
Minster Leo Varadkar TD also confirmed that work will start this year on the new National Indoor Arena, providing the first facility of its kind for indoor athletics, gymnastics and a host of other sports.
The latest addition to the National Sports Campus is a multi-sport, floodlit facility of 12 all-weather synthetic pitches for rugby, Gaelic games and soccer, and a full-sized hockey pitch.
The facility can accommodate 6-a-side, half-pitch or training pitch configurations as required.
The new multi-sport facilities include eight 6-a-side pitches for rugby, Gaelic games and soccer; a general training pitch, which can be further sub-divided into four 7-a-side pitches; a dedicated hockey pitch and a sports pavilion with a range of changing rooms.
The pitches are available for use by national, county and club teams, as well as community and sports groups and clubs, schools and the general public, and are operated by the National Sports Campus.
Minister Varadkar said: “This is a tremendous addition to the sports facilities at the Campus. We want clubs and teams from across Ireland to use these top-class pitches and pavilion.
“I’m also delighted to confirm that work will start this year on the new National Indoor Arena following the provision of €;13 million in the Budget. Over the last 12 months we have already opened a world-class equestrian arena and pentathlon training facilities, and a dry driving centre.
“The pitches being opened today and the work starting later this year will give us a truly National Sports Campus for athletes at every level, from community level to elite, and from a huge range of disciplines.
“I am also looking forward to further positive announcements from the national governing bodies themselves in the coming weeks regarding their own plans for the Campus.”
Joining the Minister in opening the new facility, Sean Benton, Chairman of the National Sports Campus Development Authority, highlighted developments over the past year:
– Completion of the National Horse Sport Arena and the National Modern Pentathlon Centre: a high-performance indoor training facility for Fencing and Pistol Shooting
– The opening of Irish Sport HQ as an administrative base for 19 national governing bodies (NGBs) of Sport
– The completion of a new National Diving Training Centre: a high-performance dry-land training facility
Work is also set to start on two turf multi-sport pitches in 2014, which will accommodate rugby, Gaelic games and soccer.
Benton also welcomed the Minister’s support in securing the capital investment to allow work on the National Indoor Arena to commence in 2014, and the imminent commencement of works on the Gaelic games and soccer pitch developments by the GAA and FAI respectively.