Eight of Sport Ireland’s Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) are currently working with their respective Local Authorities to bring a new and innovative free equipment sharing solution to parks and communities across 5 cities in Ireland: Dublin, Cork, Limerick, Galway and Waterford.
The Active Cities project is focused on getting those who are least active in our society active. In taking a multi-sectoral approach, the project is seeking to reduce the barriers to participation in physical activity, increase access and enhance the choice and opportunities available for all to take part.
Introducing BoxUp to Ireland is a collaborative initiative being developed across the cities as part of this project and aims to expand the opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to lead healthier lifestyles through increased access to free sport and leisure equipment.
Over the past nine months, the 8 LSPs have been working with the Swiss-based company, BoxUp, to bring the first lockers to Ireland. There are currently over 60 lockers in operation across Switzerland and France, with many other European Countries expected to come online over the coming months. The lockers, which are solar powered, contain a variety of equipment based on the facilities and amenities in that area, and all equipment can be easily accessed through the use of a free app.
Leading on the project, Mary Corry, National Active Cities Officer, said “working collectively to identify practical solutions is a key focus of the project. We know that for some, accessing equipment can be a real barrier to their participation, and with so many facilities, parks and open spaces across our cities, it’s important we try to meet the needs of individuals to enable them to be active.
As part of a feasibility study, representatives from the National Active Cities working group, visited Geneva and Lausanne to see the lockers both in production, and in operation across a number of parks. With over 15,000 users and over 50,000 hours of recorded activity to date, not only can these lockers provide access to equipment, but they will also provide invaluable data on the usage of the equipment in each local area.
In Waterford, Waterford Sports Partnership is working with Waterford City & County Council to install a 6-locker unit in the People’s Park to compliment a number of new physical activity installations and projects introduced over the last few months.
Rosarie Kealy, Sport Co-ordinator with Waterford Sports Partnership, commented; ‘We are delighted to be working closely with Waterford City & County Council to bring BoxUp to Waterford. This represents a significant opportunity to provide people with additional resources to get active in one of our city parks and we look forward to seeing the locker being utilised by all ages and abilities in the city’.
Seán Gormley, Acting Senior Executive Engineer, from Waterford City and Council said ‘ We are very happy to support this addition to the infrastructure in the People’s Park which will enhance the opportunity for recreational activity in the park. This is part of the continued partnership between Waterford City & County Council and Waterford Sports Partnership and all these additions are very positive and have been well received by the public that are using the People’s Park on a daily basis’.
The lockers, which are being funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund via Sport Ireland, will come on stream across the cities over the coming weeks!
Article Modified: July 19, 2023 11:30 am