Karen Cotton continues our regional road trip as she meets some key water leisure suppliers in Eire and Northern Ireland…
Carmel Kikkers had always dreamed of owning her own pool, but the lack of space, coupled with the high cost, put her off the idea… until December 2016.“Looking at the prospect of a second round of shoulder surgery and on a cocktail of painkillers, it dawned on me that I really needed low-impact exercise.“But public pools didn’t work as it complicated my neck and shoulder strain.”This, combined with her family’s increasing intolerance of chorine, made Carmel realise she needed her own pool which allowed her to swim head down toavoid strain.“That’s when I came across I came across the iPool system,” reveals Carmel. “I was thrilled because I knew that at 7ft x 10ft we could manage to fit it into our home.“We were really impressed by how straight forward it was to set-up and we loved it so much we decided to introduce it to Europe,” she explains.“We realise that many people like us dream of having their own pool but can neither afford the £15k to 20k cost, nor the large space usually needed.“I have avoided that dreaded second surgery and swim up to two miles a week at home.”SwimFit Pool was launched by Carmel and her husband Jacko Kikkers in July 2017.Since launching in 2017, she has seen the market develop. “In the UK and Irela “People often find it hard to realise they can have their own pool for under 5K, when swim spas are typically priced from 15K. They are hesitant to trust the possibility of owning a pool for just a third of the cost.
“People are becoming more open to the idea of a pool they can install themselves. They are realising that their dream can be affordable if they are prepared to do it themselves. I guess they’re encouraged by the experience of others.”The iPool needs a space of just 9 x 12 feet. A patented,easy-to-use harness allows users to alter stroke and intensity to suit the swimmer. Developed by US company FitMax more than a decade ago and the two businesses have a strong working partnership.The company is also a distributor for the EU/UK compliant and Dutch-manufactured Intex filter pump and Krystal Clear saltwater systems. SwimFitPool supplies the British-made Elecro 6Kw c, which offers the ideal fit for the pool package. But there’s one more offering to complete the package: specialist pool salt. “When we ordered our own pool,” recalls Carmel. “We hadn’t a clue where to get it,” she confesses.“We keep salt, imported from Belgium, in stock to ensure a complete package that’s hassle-free for customers.”Most of the company’s clients are based in the UK and Europe. While many have placed their pools indoors in log cabin type buildings, some have built them into decks. Based in Cork, and founded by engineers Andrew Dzijakand Dave Zagrodzki in 2011, Complete Swimming Pool Solutions Ltd (CSPS) was born from shared concerns over knowledge in the marketplace. Dave explains: “At the time, we were both employed in the leisure business and charged with overseeing problems such as a lack of experienced engineers and knowledge of pool construction. We decided to step onto the market.
“We started with small plant room services and over 8 years we have grown to take on commercial site maintenance and upgrade projects, as well as servicing contracts for the two largest swimming pools in the city of Cork.”While Dave looks after the business’ management,sales and customer care, Andrew heads up its technical side. With more than 25 years’ experience – 13 in the local market – he’s incredibly knowledgeable on water treatment technologies. He’s also a specialist in automatic systems and controls and looks after day-to-day maintenance and project upkeep. The company specialise in refurbishment projects,as well as energy updates, which has created exciting opportunities. Dave explains: “We have found that often people struggle to think outside of the box… and that’s allowed us to be successful so far. We’ve brought some continental thinking to the island to for results that are high quality,reliable, punctual and, most importantly, efficient.”He continues: “The recession from 2008 had a very bad impact on the leisure market; a lot of leisure centres closed. But, of the ones that managed to operate and survive, we are starting to see them invest.”In response to climate worries, the company is focused on reducing energy use at commercial sites by automating pool operations. And it plans to do the same in the domestic market,now that the property market is“on the go” again.
Complete Swimming Pool Solutions are proud of refurbishments like this Ballylickey project. Complete Swimming Pool Solutions offer customers a specialist pool filter media replacement service, which allows customers to focus on more valuable work. A recent domestic project they’re particularly proud of was a refurbishment in Ballylickey, Co Cork.“We carried out the whole process, including fitting new filtration, heating system and an energy-saving solar cover from Pollet Pool Group,” explains Dave. “We also built steps into the pool for easier accessibility. Currently the company is working on switching its swimming pool plant operations to full automated systems,as Dave explains. “This will eliminate the ‘weakest links’: humans and human errors – allowing the process to run both smoothly and efficiently. CSPS is increasing know-how and basic knowledge around leisure operations for operators and it’s been well-supported.“As a good company with strong references, we have back-up in our knowledge and experience from both sides: those operating the sites, as well as those constructing them. Also, our suppliers, like Pollet Group and Bosta are very helpful. The company’s emerging technologies have changed the dynamics of its relationship with those suppliers, as well as Golden Coast.“Once, we were just the customer, but now we sell things to each other all the time,” comments Dave.
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Complete Swimming Pool Solutions Ltd
0862050924 / www.csp-solutions.ie
+353 (0)51 511 083 / www.swimfitpool.com
Pool and Leisure (Ireland)
028 9048 8775 / www.poolsandleisure.com