Pool pod image
Credit: Belfast Live

Initially developed for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, pool pods are a platform lift which are being introduced across Northern Ireland to improve accessibility at swimming pools for disabled people.

As part of a £155,000 investment project from the Department for Communities, pool pods are to replace pool hoists in numerous leisure centres.

The innovative swimming platform lifts help people with restricted mobility or impaired vision get in and out of the pool more easily.

Fergus Devitt, Director of Active Communities at the Department for Communities, told Belfast Live: “I am delighted that the Department has been able to commit significant funding to provide pool pods at District Council Disability Sports Hubs across Northern Ireland.

“Opening up access to swimming pools for people who would otherwise not be able to use these facilities is a practical outworking of our commitment to the Active Living: No Limits Action Plan and to the promotion of opportunities for participation in physical activity and sport amongst people with mobility issues.”

The facilities to secure pool pods are Bangor Aurora Complex, Lakeland Forum, Omagh Leisure Centre, Newry Leisure Centre and Foyle Arena.

In addition, the investment into accessible swimming from Department for Communities through Sport NI is being delivered by Disability Sport NI.

Kevin O’Neill from Disability Sport NI said: “The facilities that have received the pool pods have shown a great commitment to improving access and providing their staff with disability inclusion training.

“This project is part of the wider District Council Disability Sports Hub Project which recently saw a significant investment into disability sports equipment in every council area.”

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