UCD Athletics Track set for 2020 revival

January 09, 2019


UCD Athletics has a long and proud tradition. As someone who was a member of the UCD Bears back in college, I have a certain affinity to the old track, and to the athletics club in the college. To our dismay, bit by bit, the track was locked with spurious claims the track posed a health hazard due to being "slippery when wet".

Honesty at this point about the position of the athletics track being somewhat unfortunately located in the middle of the new entrance for Dr. Hugh Brady's grand vision of UCD Gateway.

Fast forward a few years and UCD received an anonymous €3 million donation which secured the future of the athletics track at UCD, the design and planning phase is now up and running.

The new running track will be located in the new Sports District of UCD, towards the Richview end of the campus.

According the planning application, “the development comprises of an 8 lane, 400m IAAF synthetic athletics track with ancillary surface sport facilities for athletics, and a grass infield area suitable for athletics, and multiple field sports with line markings as required”.

There will also be “track training lighting (up to 18m high)” and “conduit to allow for electronic timing and scoring to the infield”. 

According to the Irish Times, it is estimated there will be a 19-month build period, some of which may be weather-dependent, for completion by the summer of 2020.

While this is certainly great news, one must also cast a watchful eye over the UCD Department of Sport. While facilities such as the new swimming pool are a fantastic resource, student access is limited at peak times for private membership to avail of the facilities exclusively.

UCD are revenue focused in their approach to the provision of sporting amenities, rather than being community focused. The rising Student Levy in UCD has been a bone of contention for many Students' Union Officers, and this may be another reason to hike it yet further.

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