Cork Athletics Alert: UCC's Mardyke Track Closed Indefinitely

March 27, 2024

In a recent announcement, Morgan Buckley, UCC's Head of Sport & Physical Activity, delivered unwelcome news to the Cork athletics community. The Mardyke Athletics Track, a staple venue for athletes and enthusiasts alike, has been closed indefinitely due to safety concerns regarding its surface.

The decision, made on Monday, March 11, came after careful consideration and examination by qualified external third parties. These assessments confirmed that the track's condition posed significant risks to its users, rendering it unsafe for further use. Despite initial hopes for temporary repairs, subsequent evaluations revealed that a mere patch-up job would not suffice. The track, having served for over 12 years, has reached the end of its operational lifespan, necessitating a complete resurfacing.

For many in Cork, the closure of the Mardyke Track represents the loss of the primary athletics facility in the area. With no immediate solution in sight, the track will remain inaccessible for the foreseeable future. UCC is now tasked with formulating a comprehensive plan for the track's revitalisation, albeit with timelines contingent upon various factors.

The repercussions of this closure extend beyond inconvenience. The Mardyke Track played a pivotal role in facilitating athletic endeavours, accommodating approximately 20,000 athletes from UCC, local schools, and clubs annually. Its absence leaves a palpable void in the local sports landscape, disrupting training regimens, competitions, and community events.

In response to the closure, UCC has taken steps to mitigate disruption. Refunds will be issued for any outstanding bookings, while track members will also receive reimbursement. 

In light of these developments, the Cork athletics community now faces a period of huge uncertainty. The closure serves as a reminder of the importance of proactive maintenance and investment in sporting infrastructure to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants.

Featured Image: Cork Athletics

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