Banbridge Leisure Centre gets a ‘Poolpod’

A new ‘Poolpod’ facility has been launched at Banbridge Leisure Centre.

Monday, 24th February 2020, 12:59 pm
Launch of Poolpod swimming pool lift for people with reduced mobility. Lord Mayor, Cllr Mealla Campbell, Aubrey Bingham (Community Sport Manager, Disability Sport NI), Jayne Moore (Sport NI), Aisling Irvine (Disability Sport NI), Stephen Anderson (Recreation Officer), Daniel Moore (Lifeguard) and Claire Weir (Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council). ©Edward Byrne Photography

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Mealla Campbell was recently joined by representatives of Disability Sport Northern Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland to officially launch the new system.

Originally developed for the London 2012 Olympic and the Paralympic Games, Poolpod is a pioneering platform lift system transforming access to swimming pools for people with disabilities and restricted mobility.

A multi-award winning swimming pool lift, Poolpod is appropriate for new build facilities and replacement of pool hoists in existing pools.

Armagh City Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council received £30,000 of investment from Disability Sport Northern Ireland through the Department for Communities and Sport Northern Ireland, which allowed for the installation of the specialist equipment at Banbridge Leisure Centre as part of the wider District Council Disability Sports Hub Project

Speaking at the official launch of the Poolpod, the Lord Mayor commended the investment.

She said: “I would like to offer my thanks to Department for Communities, Sport Northern Ireland and Disability Sport Northern Ireland for their generous funding which has allowed us to install this revolutionary Poolpod system.

“Inclusivity is extremely important in our society and none more so than in the area of health and recreation.

“The Poolpod offers the opportunity for those with restricted mobility to fully enjoy our excellent pool facilities at Banbridge Leisure Centre, helping to making our leisure provision more accessible for all.”

Among those who joined Councillor Campbell at the special event to mark the launch of the Poolpod were: Stephen Anderson (Recreation Officer), Aubrey Bingham (Community Sport Manager, Disability Sport NI), Aisling Irvine (Disability Sport NI), Daniel Moore (BLC Lifeguard), Jayne Moore (Sport NI) and Claire Weir (Community Sport Active Inclusion Officer).

Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Sport Northern Ireland, said: “The facilities that have received the Poolpods have shown a great commitment to improving access and providing their staff with disability inclusion training.

“This project is part of the wider District Council Disability Sports Hub Project which recently saw a significant investment into disability sports equipment in every council area.”

Sport Northern Ireland Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown said: “These new Poolpods are the latest example of how the Active Living: No Limits Action Plan is enhancing the lives of local people with a disability through sport.

“The many benefits of an active lifestyle to our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing should be open to everyone here and Sport Northern Ireland is proud to be working with our partners to create more inclusive opportunities for local communities to enjoy, engage and excel in sport.”