New Fitness Gym Installed In Ardglass Community Centre
- State-of-the-art fitness equipment installed in fitness suite in Ardglass
A new state-of-the-art fitness suite is now open from today (Friday 5th May) in Ardglass Community Centre (ACC).
The ACC saw a major renovation and extension in the late Nineties, and the addition of the fitness facility is another major step forward in providing much needed community facilities to everyone over the age of 18.
The fitness suite was officially opened today in Ardglass Community Centre in the minor hall by the Very Rev Gerard McCloskey PP and is now available to everyone in the community over 18 years of age initially.
Richard Wallace of Rural Fitness said: “This will be a 24/7 accessible fitness centre available to everyone. We may drop the age down to 16 at a later date depending on numbers.
“There will be personal trainers available so that everyone can get the best out of the facility. The personal trainers will be there at different times to assist the users to ensure they understand the H&S requirements and that they get on the road to personal fitness.
“This is certainly a high tech facility. The equipment is state-of-the-art from some of the world’s leading gym equipment brands.
“My business partner Martin Hanna and myself are delighted to provide this for the Ardglass community.
“We recognise that there are several sporting bodies in the village such as Ardglass GAC and Ardglass FC as well as golf club and Ardglass Viking and the Ardglass Coastal Rowing Club who can also use the gym as members.
Richard explained that he did not envisage the facility being oversubscribed as it was to run 24/7. The directors of Rural Fitness have over 20 years of experience in the gym industry.
Richard’s primary business, Fitness Equipment NI, is one of Ireland’s leading gym equipment suppliers and installers.
Rural Fitness has agreed an arrangement with the management committee at Ardglass Community Centre to bring a gym for the community to fruition. This is something the community has wanted for the past three years.
Richard added: “Members can sign up on a monthly basis through direct debit from our Facebook page (see below).
“And if their circumstances change they can sign out without any obligation. It is a very flexible system and I think will work well with the Ardglass community.
“The monthly fee is £25 and there is no contract. Members are free to cancel at any time.
“And if we find that we have 150+ subscribers to the fitness suite, then we will migrate all the equipment into the big hall to create more space and that will leave the minor hall free for other activities such as aerobics classes etc. We would also at that point also add more equipment to the gym.
Martin Hanna, partner with Richard, said: “The security in this facility is top class. There will be access control and 24-hour CCTV which can link directly to my mobile phone.
“I specialise in access control and run Protect Systems Ltd and the operation of the fitness suite will be safe and secure.
“We are happy to work with Margaret Smyth and the team at Ardglass Community Centre. Over time a few people will be employed and creating work is a positive. We are looking forward to the opening and everyone getting involved.
“We know there is not a great deal for people to do in Ardglass so this might be something that will spark their enthusiasm for personal fitness and get them on the road to a healthier lifestyle.
“Members will also have access to the facility wi-fi which might be useful for example if they want to listen to music while training.”
There is a full range of cardio equipment including treadmills, cross trainers, bikes, rowers, a range of free weights, including dumbbells, power racks, a Smith machine, and plate-loaded leg press etc. There is also a range of strength machines and boxing equipment in a training room.
Margaret Smyth, Chair of the Ardglass Community Centre said: “Our committee did a survey over a year ago and we found that 180 people were interested in the possibility of installing a fitness facility in the hall.
“We spoke to Richard and Martin and worked out the best way to achieve this. I’m confident that we now have the right system to manage the gym venue going forward.
“Richard and Martin have been very helpful and it’s a please to be working with them. Our centre committee are excited about this new initiative.
From an social innovation perspective, this project is excellent. It shows how local rural development has moved on in the past ten years in Ardglass.
“Our community of Ardglass is moving in the right direction in providing a key facility with this gym.
“We wish Richard and Martin every success in this endeavour and no doubt business will increase as people in Ardglass get involved.
“I am currently doing a PhD in rural development having won a scholarship from DAERA and I am personally very excited about this project. I will have great outcomes for our community.”
Speaking at the official opening, Fr Gerard McCloskey blessed the fitness gym and said: “I’m very happy to see the community of Ardglass now have access to a fitness gym and I hope that it helps keep people fit and healthy.
“I’m very grateful to Margaret Smyth and the Ardglass Community Centre committee for their efforts in bringing this initiative forward.
“It is a much-needed facility and I hope it is very well used.”
You can access membership of the Ardglass gym at ACC at: