Student Support Leads to Opening of New Sports Centre at NUI Galway

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

NUI Galway's brand new €22 million Sports Centre, is now open for students, staff and the general public. The 6,500 sq.m. sports and leisure complex includes a 25 metre 6-lane swimming pool with moveable floor, squash and racquetball courts, a three-court basketball hall, multipurpose studios, a substantial gym and a high-tech climbing wall. The facility, which is situated on campus near the Quincentennial Bridge, will be operated by Kingfisher Fitness Group. Mary O'Riordan, Vice-President for Student Services and Human Resources, NUI Galway, welcomed the opening of the Centre: "Sport contributes to the health, well-being and education of students here at NUI Galway. The new sports complex will serve a huge range of recreational and competitive sporting interests. The timing is also perfect, as early September is the beginning of the 2008-2009 academic year. We look forward to new and returning students benefiting from all that the Sports Centre offers." The NUI Galway Sports Centre is part of a €400 million capital development programme, 'Campus of the Future', to provide the highest standards of physical infrastructure to support excellence in teaching and research. Funding for the new facility came partly from the student body at NUI Galway, who voted in 2003 to increase their student levy to support the project. Student membership rates are significantly discounted for this state-of-the-art facility. NUI Galway Students' Union President, Muireann O Dwyer says the new facilities will improve student life on campus: "This is a real example of co-operation between the student body and university management. We have over 40 active sports clubs on campus and those groups will be able to use this new centre. Also, all students will be able to become members for a reduced fee, as will alumni. Sport and leisure activities are good for mind and body, so the Sports Centre will take quality of life on campus to a new level." Greg Power, Planning and Projects Officer at NUI Galway, pointed out the eco-friendly aspects to the structure: "The building incorporates significant 'green energy' initiatives giving it a relatively low carbon footprint. Technology used includes a Combined Heat and Power unit, generating electricity for the facility and recycling the heat for re-use in the building." The team that worked on the building project included world-renowned architects Faulkner Browns, in conjunction with Holohan Design, and local builders Glenman Corporation. According to Joe Cosgrove, Managing Director of Kingfisher Fitness Group, who already run six successful leisure centres across the country: "We are delighted to be serving the vibrant community on campus here at NUI Galway, as well as with the wider public in the area. Whether it's signing up for a year's gym membership, or popping by for a 'Splash and Dash', we have offers to suit everyone's sporting and fitness needs. Our staff are available to answer any queries about possible membership, and the public are welcome to view our extensive facilities at any time. " To contact the NUI Galway Sports Centre call 091 570 800 or email nuigalwayinfo@kingfisherclub.com. For further information visit www.kingfisherclub.com
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