Ulster Rugby stars Lewis Stevenson and Ricky Lutton were back on familiar territory at their alma mater this week, to help open a new state-of-the-art gym at Ballyclare High School.
The Knox Gym, named after Mr. David Knox who is retiring after 15 years as principal, is a modern, high-specification purpose-built strength and conditioning facility.
Mike McKeever, Ballyclare High’s rugby coach said: “It’s a bright space which comprises heavy weights, track machines, pullies and rowing machines. It will allow us to focus on the strength and conditioning aspects of training while also freeing up space in the former school gym for other physical education purposes.”
Headmaster Mr. Knox said he was honoured to have his name above the door. “This facility will build on the sporting excellence offered by Ballyclare High School, enhancing the intensive training regimes already in place for our sports and track teams,” he said.
Ulster Rugby has installed gym equipment at 14 venues Province-wide as part of the ‘Promoting Equality, Tackling Poverty and Social Exclusion through Sport’ programme, funded by Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL).
“We committed to the DCAL / Ulster Rugby scheme three years ago and are delighted that it has resulted in this excellent facility, which can be used by all of our pupils. We are extremely grateful to DCAL and Ulster Rugby for working so closely with us regarding the build and its contents,” added Mr. Knox.
John Kinnear, Ulster Rugby President, commented: “We’re delighted to be able to contribute to this fantastic project. One of our key organisational goals is to improve health and wellbeing among all age groups and I believe the installation of gym equipment at sites such as Ballyclare High is a great way to achieve that.”