New €22m Sports Centre Officially Opens at NUI Galway

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

One of the most successful road cyclists of our time Mr Seán Kelly will today (Friday, 7 November, 2008) officially open the new €22 million Sports Centre at NUI Galway. The state-of-the-art facility is available to 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 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. The President of NUI Galway, Dr James J Browne commented: "The opening of the Sports Centre represents a milestone in the history of NUI Galway. This state-of-the-art complex will make a significant contribution to the health, well-being and education of our students and staff and underlines the central role sport plays in life at NUI Galway". 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 facility. Atlantic Philanthropies made a major capital grant towards the project, arranged through Galway University Foundation. The official opening takes place just days after student athletes at NUI Galway received over €100,000 in scholarships to help them to continue to develop their sporting excellence. A previous recipient of such scholarships, NUI Galway medical student and Olympic athlete, Paul Hession, welcomed the elite facilities: "This is a fantastic new facility for NUI Galway and will transform the range of sporting opportunities available to students here. The new elite sports gym, in particular, will provide excellent training facilities for professional sports people like myself". 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. The facility is operated by Kingfisher Fitness Group who already run six successful leisure centres across the country. To contact the NUI Galway Sports Centre call 091 570 800 or email nuigalwayinfo@kingfisherclub.com. For further information visit www.kingfisher.com
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