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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

ABC Council ‘Spots’ Banbridge Gym’s Economic Recovery

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr pictured with Apollo Fitness owner Christopher Burns

Local Banbridge gym, Apollo Fitness, sees investment of nearly £6,000 thanks to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough (ABC) Council’s Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme.

Led by ABC Council, in conjunction with the Department for Communities and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, the grant scheme launched last summer and offered local businesses the opportunity to apply for financial assistance of up to £20,000 to address some of the operational challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Securing a grant award of around £6,000, Apollo Fitness owner Christopher Burns invested in a hand sanitising station, new laptop, an open fridge chiller as well as a range of new gym equipment including an assault bike, prowler sled, ski machine, slam ball set, battle ropes and hex dumb-bells.

Helping maintain social distancing and hygiene measures, the new additions to the Banbridge fitness centre will help ensure all gym goers remain safe, well and of course active. 

Banbridge local and Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr commented:

“I’m delighted to see local leisure business Apollo Fitness get back to work safely, through the support and financial assistance of council’s Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme.

“With the pandemic hitting the leisure sector particularly hard, many local gym and fitness providers have faced countless obstacles throughout the crisis. Through our grant scheme and other economic support measures, as a council we are committed to helping our local businesses deal with these challenges to not only survive but also thrive in the long term.”

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr pictured with Apollo Fitness owner Christopher Burns

Communities Minister Deirdre Hargey said:

“My Department introduced the Covid-19 Recovery Revitalisation Programme to support the recovery of our towns and city centres post pandemic. Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has received over £2.2 million through this programme. I am delighted to see that the grants are helping local businesses Covid safe. I hope this type of grant funding will support local businesses like Apollo Fitness in Banbridge and will encourage people to use these facilities and help to breathe life back into our towns and city centres by supporting our local businesses and ultimately help to keep our town and city centres safe, alive and prosperous.”

Based on Rathfriland Street, Apollo Fitness caters for everyone, providing male and female group training, kids fitness and personal training.

“The Covid-19 funding scheme has made a huge difference to my business!” commentedApollo Fitness owner, Christopher Burns.

He continued: “At Apollo Fitness, providing a safe environment for all our members is a top priority, and thanks to the grant scheme, we are able to continue doing that. Our new equipment enables reduced contact and sharing of equipment among clients, helping maintain a safe and Covid secure experience for everyone.”

Receiving 1,000 applications, the Covid-19 Revitalisation and Recovery Grant Scheme has invested over £1.1 million into local rural and urban businesses to date – awarding 125 grants to help fund projects and equipment to support safe trading and social distancing requirements.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

Stay Ahead of the Game with Council’s Coach and Club Development Programme

Pictured at the launch of council’s 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr and Chair of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum, Edith Jamison.

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is offering local sports clubs and coaches a range of specialised training opportunities as part of its just launched 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme.

Delivered in partnership with Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon (ABC) Sports Forum, the Programme will include a mixture of online and in-person workshops, covering topics such as safeguarding children and young people, designated officer, emergency first aid and mental health in sport.

Speaking at the launch, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said: 

“I am pleased to officially launch our 2021-22 Coach Education and Club Development Programme. As a council, we recognise and value the important role local clubs and coaches play in guiding and inspiring lifelong participation and success in sport.

“Through this year’s Programme – which offers both online and face-to-face training opportunities – we are committed to supporting the development of clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to ensure the borough’s sporting community continue to excel.”

With workshops taking place from September 2021 to March 2022, the Programme also offers training opportunities around club development planning, income generation, attracting and retaining club members as well as provides participants with the chance to attend practical-based workshops such as creating great sports environments for children, and disability inclusion training.

Chair of Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum Edith Jamison said:

“With such a wide range of workshops on offer there is something relevant and innovative for our clubs, coaches and volunteers at all levels to support their ongoing development. I would encourage all clubs, coaches and volunteers throughout the Borough to get involved and benefit from the great programme on offer.”

Varying per workshop, costs are heavily subsidised and are payable upon registration.

Affiliated members of ABC Sports Forum can avail of these workshops free of charge and will receive separate booking instructions and voucher codes. To find out more about the content of each workshop or to book your place, visit here or download a copy of the brochure here.

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Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon

All Stars Summer Scheme Brings Brighter Days for Local Children

An amazing 37 local young people delight in new found skills, confidence and friendships, thanks to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s popular, fun-filled All Stars Summer Scheme.

Based at Gilford Recreation Centre, the All Stars Summer Scheme brings young people with disabilities aged between seven and 17 together to enjoy a range of inclusive activities during a series of weeklong sessions in July and August.

Taking part in everything from nature walks, climbing wall activities, outdoor games, inclusive bike sessions to dance classes, boccia, kurling, arts and crafts and more, participants got the chance to build new skills, increase their confidence and activity levels as well as forge new, life-long friendships.

Joining in on the fun and visiting the All Stars Summer Scheme sessions, Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon, Alderman Glenn Barr said:

“It’s been an absolute joy to meet this year’s All Stars Summer Scheme participants and hear all about the fun things they’ve been getting up to.

“For many disabled young people, the pandemic has had a huge impact on their everyday lives and normal social routines – negatively affecting their growth and development of important life skills. All Stars Summer Scheme is so critically important to these young people and their families as it not only helps provide opportunities to stimulate participants’ social and emotional development but also helps boost their confidence and independence.”

David Alderdice, Community Access Officer, Children with Disabilities Service from the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:

“The All Stars Summer Scheme has once again proven to be a fantastic opportunity for children and young people with a disability. A considerable amount of planning goes into ensuring the smooth running of the Scheme, by both council and trust, with council staff demonstrating diligence and enthusiasm throughout.”

Led by qualified instructors and coaches, all activities were adapted and tailored to maximise involvement of all participants, provide fun and excitement as well as exposure to new opportunities. With one parent saying the programme has improved their “daughters’ confidence and enabled them to try new activities” while another parent said the programme has supported their child “to socialise with other children again, helping them gain the independence to have fun away from family.”

David Alderdice continued:

“Together this collaborative approach has enabled children who avail of the scheme to achieve improved self-esteem; the development of friendships and social skills; the opportunity to try new activities; and of course have ‘fun’. This is a great example of two public bodies coming together and collaborating to deliver a quality service that addresses the needs of some of the most excluded children within society.”

Organised and delivered by ABC Council’s Sports Development Department, All Stars is supported by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.

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