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Summer Camps 2024: A guide to the best sports camps in Ireland

Check out the first of two guides to in-person camps to help keep children entertained during school holidays

There are compelling reasons for sending a child to a summer camp. For some parents, it’s to help build confidence or give a boy or girl more independence. For others, it is to encourage a child to build on a particular interest or improve skills. Or maybe it’s just to get the child out from under a parent’s feet, or to keep them away from technology for half a minute, or simply because – with working parents – needs-must.

Whatever the reason, the summer is long, and choosing the right camps to keep loved ones occupied and entertained is an annual – and quite often expensive – task.

To help, we have included some of the best camps available this summer below. This is the first of two guides to in-person camps – featuring those that are primarily concerned with being outside and active.

Hopefully, in this guide to sports-related camps on the island of Ireland this summer, you and yours will find something that catches your interest.

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Check in next week for our comprehensive guide to non-sports-related camps (including camps offering drama, art, coding, science and language).

Alive Outside

From team sports to team-building games, who wouldn’t want to try kayaking, archery and obstacle courses? New for this summer is the Dublin location (in Rathgar), with the camp-goers doing a day-trip to the impressive grounds of Killruddery Estate.

  • Locations: Killruddery, Bray, Co Wicklow and The High School, Rathgar, Dublin 6.
  • Dates and times: Three- and five-day camps through July and August.
  • Ages: 7-13 years.
  • Cost: From €114 for a three-day camp to €175 for five-day camp.
  • Website: aliveoutside.ie

Astro Park

A multi-activity outdoor camp, with activities including Bubble football, Nerf AstroWars, Nerf AstroWars and Bouncy Castles. If you don’t know what some of those things are, just ask your child. The primary focus is on ensuring a fun-filled experience for all participants.

  • Locations: Tallaght and Coolock, Dublin.
  • Dates and times: 9am-3pm, eight weeks through July and August.
  • Ages: 5-12 years.
  • Cost: €110 for five-day camp and €90 for four-day camp.
  • Website: astropark.ie

ATHLETICS IRELAND

It’s Summer Olympics year, which means children across the country will be practising their sprinting, jumping, throwing and more. The Athletics Ireland Summer Camps are for those who would like to try a new sport in a safe, fun, pressure-free environment – as well as those who want to be at the Olympic Games in a few years’ time. In addition to the camps around the country, Athletics Ireland is also, for the first time, hosting a camp for teenagers aged 13-17 years in Morton Stadium from June 17th-21st.

  • Locations: At least one venue in almost every county.
  • Dates and times: Five-day camps, 10am-2pm, through July and August.
  • Ages: 6-12 years
  • Cost: €75.
  • Website: athleticsireland.ie/clubs/summercamps

Badminton

If your child enjoys badminton, or would like to give it a try, or perhaps you just want your child to leave down their phone/tablet/video game for a while, then perhaps Mark Topping’s camps are worth a try. The emphasis is on fun and “exploring the wonderful sport of badminton”.

  • Location: Terenure Badminton Centre, Whitehall Road, Dublin 12.
  • Dates and times: Four camps, five days – 10am-2pm – July 1st-5th and 22nd-26th, August 12th-16th and 19th-23rd.
  • Ages: 6-17.
  • Cost: €150.
  • Website: childrensbadmintoncamps.com

Basketball

These camps book up very quickly each year. The 3x3 residential camps are obviously perfect for boys and girls who love basketball, but they are also for players of all abilities, and no prior experience of 3x3 (which will be the format at the Olympic Games) is required.

  • Location: University of Limerick and Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Co Kildare.
  • Dates and times: The UL camp runs from June 23rd to 28th. The two weeks in Clongowes run from July 1st-6th and 7th-12th.
  • Ages: 13-17 years.
  • Cost: €575 (+ booking fee).
  • Website: ireland.basketball/nationalcamp

Bravehearts @ Trinity Sport

This camp offers a range of activities, including swimming, rock-climbing, football, tennis, hockey, basketball, arts and crafts. A camp to keep children engaged and entertained in the heart of Dublin city centre.

  • Location: Trinity College Sports Centre, 43 Pearse Street, Dublin 2
  • Dates and Times: Eight one-week camps, July 1st to August 23rd.
  • Ages: 4-13 years.
  • Cost: €220 (non-members), €190 (members). (there is a current offer of €87 for two months’ gym membership, which allows Bravehearts parents to pay the members rate and get to use the facilities.)
  • Website: tcd.ie/sport/childrens-activities

Connemara Maths Academy

While “Maths” appears in the name, the CMA Summer Camps are about much more – there is a mix of workshops, adventure challenges and organised social events – such as karaoke.

While there is a strong emphasis on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Maths), there is also time for adventure activities and team sports with a focus on discovery, creativity and adventure.

  • Locations: Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary and Carlingford Lough, Co Louth.
  • Dates and times: Five camps, between June 23rd and July 27th.
  • Ages: 7-17 years.
  • Cost: From €300 (Day/Residential options).
  • Website: connemaramathsacademy.com

Cork Cricket

This year marks Cork Cricket Club’s 150th anniversary, and the club will be running its summer camp as part of Cricket Ireland’s “Smash It” initiative, which is aimed at encouraging young children to take up cricket and improve their skills. Each child gets a pack with a backpack, T-shirt, bat and ball.

Location: Richard Beamish Cricket Grounds, Mardyke, Cork.

Dates and times: July 15th to July 19th. 10am-1pm, Monday-Friday.

Ages: 5-9 years.

Cost: €75.

Website: corkcountycricketclub.com (email youth@corkcountycricketclub.com)

Deucepoint

Deucepoint Multisport Camps return this summer in four Dublin locations with their all-day camps. This a chance for children to try their hand at different sports in a fun and laid-back environment, while also learning the ABCs of sport (ability, balance and co-ordination) from an experienced coaching team.

  • Locations: Terenure, Castleknock, Carrickmines and Harold’s Cross in Co Dublin.
  • Dates and times: Daily, 9.30am-2.30pm, in July and August.
  • Ages: 5-15 years.
  • Cost: €100.
  • Website: deucepoint.ie

DSD Camps

For the child who would love to be an Olympian for a week – and what better year in which to do it, with the Summer Games in Paris coming from the end of July. Activities include High Jump, Race Walking, Long Jump, Javelin, Hurdles and Shot Put. There are also special programmes designed for teenage athletes.

  • Location: DSD Athletics Sports Campus, Tibradden Road, Taylorsgrange, Dublin 16.
  • Dates and times: 9am-3pm each day, four weeks in July.
  • Ages: 7-16 years.
  • Cost: €160.
  • Website: dsdcamps.ie

Fota Island Adventure

An adventure camp that boasts an obstacle course, archery range, adventure quest/orienteering, inflatable water days, shelter building/FryDays, dodge ball, human foozball and something called a Battle Royale – which pits two teams against each other using Mega Nerf series cannons, blasters and guns. That sounds like paradise for many children. Also available as a day camp.

  • Location: Fota Island Resort, Tullagreen, Co Cork
  • Dates and times: Four hours each day for five days, through July and August.
  • Ages: 7-15 years.
  • Cost: €160.
  • Website: fotaadventure.com

Gaelic games

The biggest of them all – and quite possibly the best value as well. Apart from five days of fun, each child will also take home a backpack, jersey and 1/4 zip-top. The Cúl Camps cater for the beginner as well as the camogie/hurling/Gaelic football-obsessed child.

  • Locations: Camps will take place in all 32 counties. No matter where you live, if you are on the island, there is a Cúl Camp near you. There are even a few camps held overseas.
  • Dates and times: Five days, 10am-2pm, from late June until the end of August.
  • Ages: 6-13 years.
  • Cost: €75 (£65) for first child; €60 (£50) for second; €50 (£45) for third.
  • Website: kelloggsculcamps.gaa.ie

Hike & Climb

These camps are designed for young people who already have some climbing experience, indoors or outdoors, and who would like to build on their knowledge base. The goal of the camps is to create a space where young climbers can learn new skills and grow in confidence.

Locations: Four locations – Dalkey Quarry, Co Dublin; The Burren, Co Clare; Inis Mór, Co Galway; and Wales.

Dates and times: Varying in duration from three-day non residential to five-day residential. June, July and August.

Ages: 12-18 years.

Cost: From €250. Wales trip is €800 (inclusive of ferry, accommodation, transport, food and instruction). Discounted prices for Mountaineering Ireland members.

Website: hikeandclimb.ie

Hockey Express

You don’t need to know your push pass from your drag flick, but this is a camp for young players who want to improve their hockey skills, as well as those who would like to try out field hockey. Hockey Express also runs goalkeeping clinics.

  • Locations: Carlow, Kildare, Kilkenny, Offaly, Tipperary, Westmeath and Wexford.
  • Dates and times: Three-five day camps through July and August. 10am-2pm.
  • Ages: 5-18 years.
  • Cost: From €60.
  • Website: hockeyexpress.ie/camps

Just 4 Fun Kids

These multi-activity camps in several locations around Munster are focused on keeping children engaged and active – indoors and outdoors. The camps prioritise “social development, teamwork and communication, fostering a community where every child feels valued”.

  • Locations: Several locations in Cork, Kerry and Limerick – including Bantry, Carrigaline, Donoughmore, Killarney, Limerick City, Midleton and Tralee.
  • Dates and times: Five days, 9.30am-3pm daily, throughout July
  • Ages: 5-12.
  • Cost: €115.
  • Website: just4funkidscamp.com

Killary Adventure Company

Action-packed days, with a mix of land- and water-based adventure activities on the northern edge of Connemara. The camps offered include multi-activity camps, teen wilderness summer camp, and Spanish language summer camp.

  • Location: Leenane, Co Galway.
  • Dates and times: Five-, seven- and 14-day camps, in June, July and August. (Residential and non-residential camps are offered).
  • Ages: 8-17 years.
  • Cost: From €76 (daily multi-activity camp) to €1,586 (14-day multi-activity camp for international campers).
  • Website: killaryadventure.com

Let’s Go!

Jump into summer with thrilling activities such as inflatable games, KMX karting and VR adventures at Lets Go! multi-activity sports camps. There’s also hockey, football and lots more. The camps – available nationwide – are about making new friends, having fun and building lasting memories.

  • Locations: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Galway, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.
  • Dates and times: July to August, Five-day camps, 9.30am-3.30pm.
  • Ages: 5-12 years.
  • Cost: €130.
  • Website: letsgo.ie

Olympian Gymnastics

This summer, you can dive into the world of fun and embark on an exciting gymnastics adventure with a diverse range of camps in South Dublin and Naas. Whether you’re a seasoned gym star or eager to explore something new, the inclusive camps are tailored for everyone, “promising unforgettable memories”.

  • Locations: Seven venues – Greenhills (Taurus Business Park); Rathfarnham (Nutgrove Shopping Centre); Naas (Ladytown Business Park); Knocklyon (St Colmcille’s Community School); Templeogue (Templeogue College); Milltown (Alexandra College) and Ballinteer (Wesley College).
  • Dates and times: Eight weeks from July 1st to August 23rd. Morning and Afternoon options for 3- to 5-year-olds (Tots), 5-10-year-olds (Kidz) and teenagers (Teens).
  • Ages 3-16 years.
  • Cost: €85-€125.
  • Website: olympiangymnastics.com

PSA Rugby Academies

Increasingly popular camps, the PSA Academies offer high-level coaching for children dreaming of being the next Simon Zebo or Nichola Fryday. The development camps see coaches from the pro-rugby game deliver a skills and physical development programme.

  • Locations: Four camps in Ireland – at Cistercian College Roscrea, Co Tipperary; Kilkenny College, Co Kilkenny, Midleton College, Co Cork; and Newbridge College, Co Kildare.
  • Dates and times: For Irish camps: Sunday to Friday, residential; and 9am-5pm non-residential. July and August.
  • Ages: 10-16.
  • Cost: €270-€550.
  • Website: psaacademies.com

Rebelle Surf

Rebelle Surf’s camps and lessons focus on building confidence and resilience through the art of surfing, ocean awareness, fun and coaching techniques. A great chance for children to learn to navigate and surf the ocean waves and shores safely. Headquartered in the new National Surf Centre, visitors can enjoy the central location and facilities that include hot showers and changing rooms.

  • Location: Strandhill, Co Sligo.
  • Dates and times: Monday to Friday. Children’s and teens’ camps run from June 24th until the end of August.
  • Ages: 7-18.
  • Price: €140.
  • Website: rebellesurf.com

Redhills Adventure

Choose from Junior or Teen camps, focusing on combat gaming such as junior paintball and airsoft. Partake in their new skill zone, featuring human foosball, billiards, footgolf, frisbee golf and archery. Run the gauntlet in the new combat assault course in an elephant grass maze.

  • Location: Knocknagalliagh, Co Kildare.
  • Dates and times: Three- and four-day camps, during July and early August.
  • Ages: 7-12 years (Junior) and 12-17 (Teen).
  • Cost: €99.
  • Website: redhillsadventure.ie

Rip ‘n’ Run

Set up in 1998, this is a series of basketball camps – residential and non-residential – for players of all ages. Apart from lots of court games and drills, the camps also include other interesting parts to it, such as nutrition talks.

  • Location: St Pat’s DCU, Drumcondra, Dublin
  • Dates and times: Two weeks – August 4th-9th and August 10th-15th.
  • Cost: From €335 (non-residential) and €539 (residential).
  • Website: ripnrun.com

Rossnowlagh Surf School

Discover the ultimate kids’ summer surf camp, where unforgettable memories are made at the stunning Rossnowlagh Beach. An award-winning camp, led by Irish Surf Team coaches, teaches each surfer the fundamentals of surfing and ocean safety in a fun and relaxed environment. They run a camp for adults at the same time.

  • Location: Rossnowlagh Surf School, Rossnowlagh Beach, Co Donegal.
  • Dates and times: June, July and August, Monday-Friday, two hours each day.
  • Ages: 8-16 years.
  • Cost: From €120.
  • Website: rossnowlaghsurfschool.com

Rugby

A camp that will appeal to parents who want their child to experience an introduction to rugby, as well as those children who are already active members of a local club. The camps are focused on improving rugby skills in a fun, safe environment.

  • Locations: Island-wide – with most counties hosting at least one camp. For example, Leinster rugby are running camps in 29 locations across the 12 counties.
  • Dates and times: Five days, 9am/9.30am-1pm/1.30pm through June, July and August. Campbell College, Belfast, is also hosting a 2-3 night residential camp (separate ones for girls and boys).
  • Ages: 6-12.
  • Cost: €80-€95.
  • Website: The provinces run the camps in their areas – connachtrugby.ie, leinsterrugby.ie, munsterrugby.ie, ulsterrugby.com

Rugby Academy Ireland

The summer academy weeks are designed for motivated and age grade representative players. These are most suited to players who have prior high-level rugby experience and who aim to train in a high-performance environment.

  • Locations: Three camps in Ireland – at Cistercian College Roscrea, Co Tipperary; Kilkenny College, Co Kilkenny, and Midleton College, Co Cork.
  • Dates and times: Sunday to Sunday residential, 9am-5pm non-residential. July and August.
  • Ages: 16-18 years.
  • Cost: From €550.
  • Website: rugbyacademyireland.ie

Shuttlerockers

The badminton camp will be led by one of Ireland’s top badminton players, Louie Lyons. The camp is suitable for beginners as well as advanced players, and will be a mix of badminton and SAQ (speed, agility and quickness) drills. There will also be a mix of games and mini tournaments.

  • Location: Castleknock College, Dublin.
  • Dates and times: August 19th to 23rd, 1pm to 4pm.
  • Ages: 5-17 years.
  • Cost: €120.
  • Website: shuttlerockers.ie/bookings/

Soccer

One of the most successful organisations at distracting children during the summer months, FAI (in the Republic) and IFA (in Northern Ireland) summer camps are a great way for soccer-obsessed children to get their fill of action. The camps are suitable for those who want an introduction to the game too. Some venues host more than one camp during the summer, so keep an eye on the long list of venues and dates. It is also a useful way for clubs to attract new members.

  • Locations: In many locations in every county.
  • Dates and times: Five days, 10am-1pm, throughout July and August.
  • Ages: 6-14. (In Northern Ireland, it is 5-13).
  • Cost: €75 for first child.
  • Website: faifootballcamps.ie (in Northern Ireland, see irishfa.com)

Sport Ireland

Children who participate in the Sport Ireland Campus Kids’ Camps will try a variety of sports in the world-class environment of Sport Ireland Campus – the same high-performance environment used by many Team Ireland Olympians to train ahead of big competitions. For 2024, new camps are being offered to meet the demand from future generations, including Indoor Turf Games, Girls Only Football, Aquatics Camps, Teen Athletic Development Camp, alongside the return of Multisport, Gymnastics, Inclusive, and Diving.

  • Location: National Sports Campus, Blanchardstown, Co Dublin
  • Dates and times: Weekly multi-sport camps throughout the summer, starting July 1st. Popular multi-sport camp runs from 9am to 3pm, with extra-time options available from 7.30am to 5.30pm.
  • Ages: Ten different camp types – suitable from 3 years (Junior Camp) to 17 years (Teen Camps).
  • Cost: From €90. The most popular multi-sport camp costs €120 per week (9am-3pm each day).
  • Website: sportirelandcampus.ie

Stratford LTC

Suitable for beginner and intermediate players in particular, the camps are led by Scott Hubbard. A great way to learn and develop skills on the tennis court.

  • Location: Grosvenor Square, Rathmines, Dublin.
  • Dates and times: 10am-1pm (Summer Camp) and 1pm to 3pm (After Camp Games & Series). Three camps in July, one in August.
  • Ages: 5-16 years.
  • Cost: €75-€110.
  • Website: stratfordtennis.ie

Swimming

This year, iSwim Academy is offering intensive summer camps focused solely on private swim lessons, which could be a great alternative for parents given the high demand for such lessons and limited availability.

  • Location: Club Vitae Tallaght & Liffey Valley, Dublin.
  • Dates and times: July 1st to August 30th (nine weeks).
  • Ages: From 4 years (adults welcome).
  • Cost: €160 per child for one week (five days). Intensive private-lessons camp running from Monday to Friday at the same time for the week.
  • Website: iswim.ie

Tennis Camp

Owen Casey represented Ireland at three Olympic Games and held ranking on the ATP Tour for 15 years, so this is a coach who knows what he’s talking about. Still, the camps are for all ages and abilities, from basic technique to match tactics in a fun and friendly environment.

  • Location: Mount Pleasant LTC, Ranelagh, Dublin.
  • Dates and times: Four-day & five-day camps, 9.30am-12.30pm. June, July & August.
  • Ages: 5-16 years.
  • Cost: €125-€150.
  • Book: owencasey@iol.ie

Trojan Gymnastic Club

Your child gets to work on various apparatus – floor, bars, beam, vault and trampoline track. Skills include handstands, cartwheels and dive rolls. Children who are progressing well move on to skills such as handsprings, back bends, bridge kickovers, round-off, etc. Next stop – the 2032 Olympic Games!

  • Location: Holly Avenue, Stillorgan Business Park, Co Dublin.
  • Dates and times: Five-day camps, Junior Camp – three-year-olds, 9am-noon. Summer Camp – 4-12-year-olds, 9am-1pm. (Early drop-off available).
  • Ages: 3-12 years.
  • Cost: From €150.
  • Website: trojangymnasticclub.com

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