Sports Campus Ireland is crucial to the development of Irish sport. Ireland is already thirty years behind the rest of Europe in terms of national and international sports facilities. We now have the opportunity to bring sports facilities in this country up to the level of our competitors abroad. We can no longer pay lip service to this project and must act now to make sure that it goes ahead as originally envisaged. National Governing Bodies of Irish sport must ensure that the entire project is given the green light by the Government.
This project must stand on its own merit and be free from political considerations. It is wrong to link short term political interests to something that will prove invaluable to future generations of Irish sportspeople. The criticism that Sports Campus Ireland is in direct competition with spending on health is a cynical attempt by some armchair pundits to demean what will be one of the most far seeing and significant projects ever taken on by an Irish Government.
We need vision in sport. The Government has shown a path to success for Irish sport that will be carried on long after sectoral political considerations have disappeared off the stage. When our future Olympic gold medallists arrive back in Dublin to huge public acclaim it will be worth remembering the vision expressed in the development of Sports Campus Ireland. The future prospects for Irish Sports without the development of these facilities are very bleak. Our international success will depend on the resourcefulness of a few gifted wild geese athletes, condemned to a life abroad to chase a dream that we can make into reality with Sports Campus Ireland.
Sport is the best preventative medicine our society can engage in and we are in danger of becoming a nation of overweight and unhealthy non participants unless the benefits of sport are instilled in our young people.
Sports Campus Ireland is the key to making sport the most desirable pursuit for our young people. The facilities it will allow will provide thousands of young people to engage in sport in a safe environment where they can enjoy sport at whatever level they desire.
Everyone will be able to enjoy the best facilities in the world at Sports Campus Ireland and they can be part of a dream that will see our heroes bring sporting glory and international acclaim to this country.
Sports Campus Ireland will provide not only world class facilities for elite athletes and high performance aspect of all sports, it will also provide tremendous opportunity for participation, exploration, fun and healthy pursuit for all in Ireland.
Irish Basketball Association
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Updated: October 2005.