Bangor based Rathgael Gymnastics and Tumbling Club has announced plans to develop what will be the largest gymnastics facility in Ireland.
The facility which will span 14,500 square feet will be situated within the Saba Park development in Bangor’s Balloo industrial estate and the aim is to have it up and running by October this year. The club, which has also just received notification of being shortlisted to the final three for this year’s GB Club of the Year is home to almost 800 gymnasts ranging in age from toddler to adult and ranging in ability from those who attend for recreational use through to those who are members of the various elite squads which compete across the UK and Ireland.
Welcoming the announcement club chairman, Andy McDowell said: “These are very exciting times for the club. Having existed for many years in premises which were far from ideal I am very pleased to be signing the lease which will kickstart the development work on these premises. Our recent national awards shortlisting also serves to confirm that we are a club which has ambitions to clearly be the best at what we do.”
Speaking on behalf of the developers, Saba Investments, Company Director Uel McKibbin said “Saba Investments are pleased to be working with Rathgael Gymnastics Club on this exciting project. The club has a well established reputation in North Down and this joint venture will serve to provide the club with a high standard facility within which it will no doubt continue to grow.”
Mark Gannon, Director of Development with British Gymnastics said: “British Gymnastics are delighted to learn that Rathgael Gymnastics Club are to move into a new gymnastics facility. Rathgael are a truly passionate and determined community based gym club and it is evident to anyone who visits that the club exists for the gymnasts first and foremost. British Gymnastics will work closely with the club to ensure continued support to them in their aspiration to provide even more opportunity to more young people at all levels of our sport, something that this fantastic new centre will greatly assist them in achieving."
Ciaran Gallagher, Gymnastics Ireland C.E.O. said: “Gymnastics Ireland would like to wish Rathgael Gymnastics & Tumbling Club the best of luck as they begin construction of their new purpose built facility. As a long established club this development is recognition and reward for the countless board members, staff and volunteers who have put so much time and effort into making the club a success over the years. In this, the Olympic year, such developments for our sport are hugely encouraging and point towards a bright future for all involved.”