AIT is one of the leading third-level institutions in the provision of sport and recreation programmes and services to its students. Different interests and all levels of ability are catered for to ensure maximum participation. The Institute’s recreational programme facilitates all students who may wish to participate in activities at all levels whether as a casual player, a committed competitor, a beginner or an elite performer. The Institute’s facilities include playing pitches and a multipurpose centre which contains a basketball court, four badminton courts, two volleyball courts, indoor soccer, and a fully equipped fitness suite.
In the past twelve months a further €2.5 million was invested in a FIFA 2 Star International standard soccer pitch and an Olympic-standard Mondo athletics track. New sand-based rugby and GAA pitches are currently under construction, which will add to the existing facilities when available. AIT’s new €10 million International Arena facility opened its doors to the public in mid-January 2013. To date the arena has hosted the AAI Combined Event Championships, the AAI Open Indoor Games, National Indoor Finals, Masters, Under 23s championships, Connacht & Leinster Indoor Championships, as well as several club and athlete training days. Students may also avail of various other local facilities. The recently opened Regional Sports Centre, located near the town centre, comprises a 25m swimming pool, children’s pool, sauna & steam room, jacuzzi, fitness gym, créche, café, FIFA standard astro-turf pitch and a sports hall.
The Institute believes that active membership in a sporting club has a positive and enhancing effect on students, affording them opportunities to represent the Institute nationally, and in some instances to represent the Institute and Ireland in overseas competitions. Inter-college competitions are open to institutes of technology, universities and colleges of higher education, and are organised on a league and/or championship basis. The Institute has been highly successful in these events. Internal competitions for staff and students add an extra dimension to Institute life. The indoor and outdoor facilities are good and a well-established coaching/team management system is in place, implemented by full-time physical education and recreation officers, with the assistance of part-time coaching staff and the Students’ Sports Representative.
Registered students at the Institute find that if they wish to develop and pursue their interest in sport and recreation, the Institute will facilitate that goal. However, if one’s preference is not to compete but to participate, the sports and recreational programme is structured to meet those requirements. A familiarisation day is held at the beginning of each academic year to outline the available activities and facilities. The Institute looks forward to providing a comprehensive sports and recreational outlet to all our incoming students which will add an exciting dimension to Institute life.
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