Limerick Institute of Technology, Tipperary County Council, Tennis Ireland, Thurles Tennis Club and Tipperary GAA County Board have jointly welcomed the announcement that funding of €562,554 has been provided to develop detail plans which will bring the €18.7 million Regional Sports Campus Thurles to construction stage.
The project to be developed on LIT, Thurles Campus is one of just seven projects out of 38 applicants to receive funding from the Regional Sports, Stream 1, Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund.
Describing the Government’s decision to include the Thurles project in the Large Scale Sport Infrastructure Fund as significant, President of LIT Vincent Cunnane said, “This funding is very important in bringing the Regional Sports Campus to the next stage of development.
“The Regional Sports Campus is a collaborative development between Tipperary County Council, Tennis Ireland, Tipperary County Board and LIT. It is an excellent example of regional partners working together to provide sport facilities that will be beneficial locally, regionally, nationally and internationally.”
“The new regional sports facilities will compliment LIT’s Sports Lab which is used as a teaching and research space for our sports related academic programmes, as well as a facility that is heavily utilised by both local teams and elite athletes,” he added.
Joe MacGrath, CE of Tipperary County Council said the new Thurles development will incorporate a mixture of international standard facilities which will be available to national, regional and local athletes and teams.
“This will be a multi-sport, centre of excellence with community access here in Thurles, recognising the strong sporting heritage of the town and the region. There is currently no integrated development of this nature and scale in the catchment area capable of accommodating a wide variety of sports and providing a link between Sports Science and performance.
“The Thurles Regional Sports Campus will provide a step change in terms of sport and public facilities for the region and indeed nationally. It will include the largest indoor clay court tennis facility in Ireland outside Dublin, which will incorporate six indoor clay courts and two outdoor courts, as well as both 4G and sand-carpet floodlit pitches, a spectator stand, running trail, a building providing office space, meeting rooms and treatment rooms, and an extension to the state-of the art LIT Strength and Conditioning facility.”
“This facility has the capacity to bring great social and economic benefit to the town and the county and I look forward to working with the various project partners and other stakeholders to bring this project to fruition,” he concluded.
Tipperary GAA County Board Secretary Tim Floyd said, “It seems appropriate that this state of the art Sports Campus is to find a home in the town where the GAA itself was founded. It will provide a first class grounds for local teams as well as being a centre of excellence for our inter county GAA players. It will also kick start the first ever full size all weather pitch in County Tipperary which is long over due.”
Richard Fahey, Chief Executive of Tennis Ireland added, “Developments of this nature are critical in supporting participation and for developing the next generation of Irish tennis players who can compete at the highest levels of the sport. The fact that it will be integrated within the existing LIT Strength and Conditioning facility and other on-site resources will bring immense added value to the project and the sport of tennis. This project was submitted with the full backing of Tennis Ireland which shows our commitment to the development of the sport in all parts of the country.”
Speaking on behalf of Thurles Tennis Club, Peter Broderick, PRO, warmly welcomed the announcement.
"This is a major step on the road to providing a world-class tennis facility for Thurles, Munster and the region in general, in association with Tennis Ireland and its Munster Council whose wholehearted support I wish to recognise,” he said.
Mr. Broderick concluded by noting the benefit which the facility will bring to the tennis playing community of Thurles.