“We are now looking forward to the official opening in a couple of weeks. The sports hall is the biggest in the area and holds four netball courts. Eventually activities such as the fitness studio, boxing, indoor bowls, indoor football, badminton, tabletennis, basketball, martial arts, soccer training for ladies, mens and junior teams, a youth club, and other sports will all be running properly in the centre.”
The new centre will be managed by Down District Council’s Recreation department proving the necessary management experience to ensure the centre is operated safely and professionally.
PJ O’Hare, veteran Forum member said, “At the moment, space is already quite heavily allocated and demand is really fantastic from sporting groups. This will eventually level out. Without the cocktail of funding from the many bodies, this project would never have been possible. We’re very appreciative to the DSD, Sport NI, The South Eastern HSC Trust, Department of Education, Down District Council, Sports Council, and the Flying Horse Forum itself which also made a substantial contribution.
“It is really heart-warming to see this facility ready to operate fully. It will get many young people off the streets in the area and channel energies into positive activities. The boxing club is an incredible success and already young people are taking a healthy interest in this sport which is very reassuring.”
Pegasus ABC chairman Danny Whittington said that he was over the moon with the new training centre. “The club will be running at least five nights a week and on sundays and there are about 50 active boxers and 25 who train for fitness. Our premises in the ballymote Centre were limited in that we only had a hour each evening for two nights.
“This facility has a permanent boxing ring, 15 punch bags around the walls, assorted dumb-bells, medicine balls, head guards, glovers and other aids and there are mirrors on one wall which are also a useful training feature. The space is light and cheerful and well ventilated, and there are proper changing rooms with showers.”
The dedicated boxing venue will become a centre of excellence within a short space of time and no doubt top boxers will emerge from its ranks. Danny himself fought at light welterweight in the ABA and reached high levels in the sport in his day, and his brother Ricky who also helps out with the training, boxed successfully as an amateur at light middleweight. Danny is also excited about the young talent in the club who are currently training for junior championship competitions. He said, “There are a number of excellent young boxers in the Pegasus ABC and they will get and opportunity to shine in March in the top level competition to be held in the centre.
“We are really appreciative of the new boxing facilities provided. Young members from as young as 10 can join but there will be no contact boxing until they are 11 years old. Membership will no doubt grow in months to come. It is good to see the youth properly occupied with something they are enjoying. Our instructors are all properly qualified, police checked, and with child protection training, and there is a great sense of camaraderie in the club,” added Danny.]]>