Bandon AC Urges Action Amid Extended Closure of Mardyke Track

March 29, 2024

In a recent statement made to Run Republic, Bandon Athletic Club has raised the alarm regarding the ongoing track crisis in Cork County, exacerbated by the closure of the Mardyke Athletics Track. Initially, temporary action was eyed to take place on the Mardyke Track, but it has now been confirmed that this cannot happen and the closure will extend into the foreseeable future due to unresolved issues. This development has left Bandon AC and 55 other clubs in Cork without access to a 400m track, forcing athletes to seek training and competition opportunities elsewhere.

The closure of the Mardyke Track follows a series of setbacks for athletics in Cork, including the closure of the MTU track over recent years. This dearth of facilities has pushed athletes and clubs to look beyond county borders, traveling to Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Clare, and Kerry for essential training and competitions. The financial strain incurred by this necessity is unsustainable for both athletes and clubs in the long term.

Bandon AC statement can be read below:

“Bandon Athletic Club just like the rest of Cork County Clubs were thrown into darkness at the start of March with the sudden closure of the Mardyke Athletics Track, and now the news that the issues will not be fixed this year meaning a longer closure than first assumed. This along with the closure of MTU over the last number of years, has left Bandon and the other 55 clubs in Cork without a 400m track, it has left thousands of Cork athletes looking further afield to Limerick, Tipperary, Waterford, Clare and Kerry for training and competition.

“The setbacks faced has served as a wakeup call, as it shows the huge shortage for facilities for Cork Athletics, the travelling puts a financial burden on athletes and clubs which can not be sustained for long.

“The crisis in which Cork Athletics face brings forward the urgent need for the club to complete our development this year. We are urgently calling on all stakeholders, policymakers, and the wider athletics community to come together to support each club as best we can.

“Bandon Athletic Club has made significant progress since the first turning of the sod in 2022, the construction of the infield area is currently underway, lighting & kerbing have been completed, however we face the barrier of funding to get the project completed this year. The urgency of securing additional funding cannot be overstated, as it would accelerate the availability of a much-needed training facility for Cork’s athletes. The completion of the Bandon AC track would provide a vital solution to the current crisis facing Cork athletes.”

The club emphasises that the urgency of the situation cannot be overstated. With adequate funding, the Bandon AC track project could provide a vital lifeline for Cork's athletes, offering a dedicated space to train and compete without the burden of traveling long distances. It's a call to action for all those invested in the future of athletics in Cork to unite and ensure that athletes have the facilities they need to thrive.

Featured Image: Bandon AC

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