A Cork town is in line for a €5m economic boost from major competitions due to take place at Ireland’s elite rowing centre over the next 18 months.
The news emerged at a breakfast briefing organised by Ballincollig Business Association to acknowledge the successes of the National Rowing Centre in nearby Farran.
The event, which was attended by representatives from multinational and local businesses based in the town, was organised to acknowledge the outstanding achievements and work being done at the national training centre in Farran Wood.
The facility has shot to national prominence following the successes of the Irish team at the Olympics, and at the World Championships.
Hamish Adams, CEO of the National Rowing Centre, said the facility was probably one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets in the run-up to the Rio Olympics.
“But thanks to the success of Paul and Gary O’Donovan, interest in our sport has mushroomed,” he said. “It has been fantastic for us as a sport but also Ballincollig and district because the centre isn’t just there for rowing, it is there for the community. There has been a huge investment in the facility and we welcome everyone to come and have a look.
“We have been working with Cork County Council and Fáilte Ireland to attract events to the centre and we are delighted that we will be hosting two major competitions — the home Internationals and the Nationals — over the next 18 months.
“Combined with our domestic events, this means an additional €5m to the local economy here in Ballincollig and over 50,000 extra bed nights.”
Emer Cassidy, chairperson of Ballincollig Business Association, said the breakfast briefing was a great opportunity to hear first-hand about the work being done at the National Rowing Centre. “We’re very lucky to have this wonderful facility on our doorstep and we need to support their efforts to attract more international competitions,” she said.
Mr Adams said he is looking forward to fostering and deepening links with the local community and businesses in Ballincollig to promote the area.
He was joined at the event by three members of the Irish Rowing Team; Shane O’Driscoll, Mark O’Donovan and Sanita Puspure, and by Morten Espersen, the high-performance director of Rowing Ireland.
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