Antrim and Newtownabbey keen to promote open water swimming

Open water swimming is one of the activities suggested by Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council to encourage more residents to exercise.

Wednesday, 7th October 2020, 5:57 pm
Fisherman's Quay, Carrickfergus. Image by Google.
Fisherman's Quay, Carrickfergus. Image by Google.

The council is keen to encourage greater physical activity among all age groups through sport and “non-traditional routes” which have been outlined in response to a pre-consultation survey by the Department for Communities prior to a ‘Strategy for Sport 2020-2030’.

Parkrun and ‘couch to 5k’ runs have also been suggested. All parkruns are currently suspended due to the Covid pandemic (read here).

In East Antrim, Fisherman’s Quay in Carrickfergus is a popular location for open swimmers including the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Councillor Peter Johnston, a Knockagh DUP councillor.

Antrim and Newtownabbey’s draft response also notes the impact of Covid-19 on mental health and the role of physical health in helping with mental health,  current and post-pandemic and impact on programmes and facilities.

Meanwhile, a cycling circuit of Lough Neagh is to become officially known as the Loughshore Trail; a route connecting Toomebridge and Coleraine will become known as the Lower Bann route. A route which cuts through the borough from Belfast to Larne will be known as the East to North West Coastal Route. All are mostly on-road.

A traffic-free route will link Lisburn, Belfast and Jordanstown.

The council says: “These routes are deemed important to local tourism and are significant in distance and scale.”

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter.

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