Athletics Ireland Address Mardyke Track Closure

March 15, 2024

The recent closure of the UCC Mardyke track due to health and safety concerns has sent ripples through the athletics community in Cork, significantly limiting training options for athletes. This abrupt closure has prompted urgent discussions to find viable solutions to the matter.

Athletics Ireland CEO, Hamish Adams, wasted no time in addressing the issue head-on. He attended a meeting with UCC and club representatives at the Mardyke track to assess the situation and explore potential remedies. The gravity of the situation was not lost on UCC representatives, who confirmed the immediate engagement of a contractor to evaluate temporary fixes to facilitate a swift return to track activities. They pledged to keep all concerned parties updated on the progress and the subsequent steps to be taken.

Morgan Buckley, UCC's Director of Sport, emphasised the university's unwavering commitment to rectifying the matter promptly. He acknowledged the critical role played by the Mardyke track in the sporting infrastructure of the university and expressed regret over the inconvenience caused by the closure. Buckley assured stakeholders that the decision to close the track was made reluctantly, prioritising the safety of athletes above all else.

Hamish Adams echoed the sentiments of concern, recognising the challenges faced by athletes in Cork with the closure of both the UCC Mardyke track and the ongoing resurfacing works at the MTU track. He emphasised that Cork City and County represent one of the largest membership bases outside Dublin for Athletics Ireland. Adams sympathised with athletes who are now left without a dedicated track for training and competition.

However, amidst the current setbacks, there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon. Adams outlined the strategic initiatives aimed at addressing the longstanding shortage of athletics facilities in Cork. These include the development of a state-of-the-art indoor facility at MTU and the resurfacing of the MTU track, both of which are nearing completion. Additionally, support has been extended for the construction of new tracks, such as the Bandon Athletics Club track and the early-stage development of the Carrigaline Athletics Club track. Furthermore, plans are underway for a track in Midleton to cater to the East Cork athletics community.

While acknowledging that these projects will take time to materialise, Adams reassured the Cork athletics community of Athletics Ireland's unwavering commitment to their needs. He stressed the importance of these new facilities in meeting the growing demands of the athletics community in Cork and beyond.

Despite the challenges posed by the closure of the UCC Mardyke track, the resilience and determination of the athletics community in Cork remain unwavering. As discussions continue and plans are set in motion to address the current predicament, there is optimism that these setbacks will ultimately pave the way for a brighter future for athletics in Cork.

Featured Image: Cork Athletics.