Get in pole position with festival of learning

Aspiring pole-dancers, poets, and photographers can take some free lessons during Cork’s Lifelong Learning Festival next week.

Get in pole position with festival of learning

From Monday, April 7, more than 500 events in community centres, libraries, schools, and colleges will give the public a flavour of what classes, courses, or even career-changing programmes they can avail of around the city.

And not everything is about getting a certificate at the end — most are about the fun of learning, whether it’s important life skills, health awareness, or humble hobbies.

Next Monday, the city council, Cork Cycling Campaign, and Cork Community Bikes will offer bike safety tips at the green on Connaught Avenue near University College Cork, where guided tours of the campus are running every afternoon next week.

More energetic citizens might like to join the Zumba lesson at Mahon Family Resource Centre on Tuesday night, or those daring enough to take their singing skills beyond the front door can join an open rehearsal of the World as One Multicultural Choir the same evening at Welcome English near Proby’s Quay.

A creative streak might be needed to try some hands-on woodwork at the furniture-design workshop in Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa on Wednesday morning, and, for anyone not tied up at the same time, Douglas Community School hosts a quiz where teams will match seniors and students.

On the same morning, an introduction to the basics of well-being and stress management is on offer at the Glen Resource Centre.

“It’s a chance to get people of all ages, all abilities, and all nationalities to have a go at something new, because there really is something for everybody, whether it’s crafts, computers, or pole-dancing,” said festival co-ordinator Tina Neylon.

For those who might fancy their chances on the pole — which can improve strength, endurance, and flexibility — the small classes are open to observe or participate on Thursday evening at the Firkin Crane in Shandon. Like many of the events in the festival, there is a limit on places.

Cork Education and Training Board, which runs schools, colleges, and other formal settings, is the main sponsor. But some of the venues are less formal, so keep an eye for something happening in your local shopping centre, sports club, or community centre.

* The full programme is free to pick up in libraries, colleges, and other public places or online at

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