For Oral Answer on : 17/11/2022
Question Number(s): 12 Question Reference(s): 56522/22
Department: Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
To ask the Minister for Tourism; Culture; Arts; Gaeltacht; Sport and Media further to Parliamentary Question No. 604 of 26 April 2022, the progress that has been made in the development of the national swimming strategy; and if she will make a statement on the matter.
Both the National Sports Policy 2018 -2027 and the Sports Action Plan 2021-2023 commit to the development and implementation of a National Swimming Strategy. The Strategy will be the first of its kind in Ireland and will be based on a vision to ‘provide everyone in Ireland with an opportunity to swim’. It will be suited to all ages and abilities and seek to recognise swimming as a life skill with participation potential over the full course of life.
The Working Group tasked with the detailed work of preparing the strategy is chaired by my Department and comprises representatives from relevant National Governing Bodies for sport and stakeholders, specifically Swim Ireland, Sport Ireland, CARA, Ireland Active and the Local Authorities.
An online public consultation process was launched on the 9th of September 2022 and closed on the 7th of October 2022. An extensive consultation across relevant stakeholders has operated in parallel with this process and is now drawing to a conclusion.
I have been very heartened by the response rates to the consultation which are testament to the increased popularity of swimming and the critical role it can play in terms of our physical health and mental wellbeing. Work is ongoing on the analysis of the very large number of responses received to ensure that the Strategy encompasses all of the issues raised and views expressed to the greatest extent possible.