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New Poolpod facility launched at Banbridge Leisure Centre

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell demonstrates the new Poolpod facility for people with reduced mobility at Banbridge Leisure Centre accompanied by 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), Claire Weir (Community Sport Active Inclusion Officer)

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough, Councillor Mealla Campbell was recently joined by representatives of Disability Sport NI and Sport NI to officially launch the new Poolpod system at Banbridge Leisure Centre.

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

ABC Council were delighted to receive £30,000 investment from Disability Sport NI through the Department for Communities and Sport NI, 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 commented: “I would like to offer my thanks to Department for Communities, Sport NI and Disability Sport NI 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.”

Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer of Disability Sport NI welcomed the funding, saying: “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 NI Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown added: “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 NI is proud to be working with our partners to create more inclusive opportunities for local communities to enjoy, engage and excel in sport.”

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