Wednesday 22 May 2019

Anger as surf lifesaving training set to be moved out of Courtown

Adult members of the Courtown group at the national pool competition in Limerick in February
Adult members of the Courtown group at the national pool competition in Limerick in February

Cathy Lee

Parents and members of the surf lifesaving training group in Courtown have expressed their outrage following a decision by Water Safety Ireland Wexford to amalgamate all Wexford training sessions, having them take place from Curracloe on an ongoing basis.

These will be the only training sessions insured by Water Safety Ireland Wexford, following the AGM of the group.

'This is very much a community group and it's unrealistic for us to train in Curracloe, it means that a lot of our children won't be able to attend and will miss their training,' said Joy Redmond, member of the group.

'During the summer, when we train up to four times a week, we used to be able to walk to the beach for training. This announcement has caused high levels of unnecessary upset and stress,' she added.

In an email seen by this newspaper, coaches, parents and competitors were told that to further promote and develop the sport in County Wexford, Water Safety Ireland Wexford committee had made the decision to amalgamate all training sessions, to be held in Curracloe, which is more than 35 kilometres away from Courtown.

Water Safety Ireland Wexford deliver courses and classes to promote and educate on water safety, lifesaving an, as well as providing swimming lessons and the sport of surf lifesaving.

'The training in Courtown has been operating successfully for the last few years, and I am supporting them to keep this in Courtown,' said Cllr Robbie Ireton.

The Courtown training programme was described by Joy Redmond as something that is 'well-oiled,' and she said that the concerned members have no hidden agenda, only wanting this decision to be reversed.

They wish to keep the training facility in Courtown for fun and fitness for all ages that they cater for, which has seen young people compete at a national and international level through Water Safety Ireland competitions.

Water Safety Ireland Wexford declined the opportunity to answer any questions put to it on the complaints when contacted.

Water Safety Ireland CEO John Leech said that he was aware that the Wexford committee are holding on to their original decision regarding the amalgamation and that the complaint is now at a formal stage.

For this reason, he intends to meet with both sides in Wexford with the intention to resolve the issue as soon as possible, under the problem solving policy operated by Water Safety Ireland.

Gorey Guardian