We were delighted to win the tender to provide the GAA’s National Games Development Centre (NGDC) at Abbotstown on the site of the National Sports Campus in June 2016. The recently completed project includes a total of five playing pitches - four of them full size and all of them floodlit - a 3G pitch, a hurling wall and a pavilion which houses 10 dressing-rooms, a reception area and gymnasium, and associated facilities for physiotherapy, referees, meeting rooms and dining facilities. A covered seated spectator area adjoining the pavilion can cater for 400 people.
The installation of equipment will be overseen by Bryan Cullen, Dublin's high-performance manager, who has previously worked as the Strength and Conditioning coach with Leinster and captained the county to the All-Ireland title in 2011. This mix of equipment was employed due to the nature of the sport. The facility installed a custom made performance power rack with specially designed attachments, all modular to the BLK BOX range alongside a number of our ‘Belfast Bars’ a range of barbells designed in Belfast. Every inch of the gym is designed for functional movement, from functional battle ropes, prowlers, and hurdles to state-of-the-art Olympic lifting platforms.
The gym was designed in the most effective and efficient way to utilize it to its full potential, yet keep its natural light and airy feel to the venue. We needed to create a remarkable space which is congruent with the GAA business model & training methodology. The gym space allows for functional movement and agility work to be the main aspect of the training carried out here. There are no tripping hazards, and state of the art storage, intuitively positioned, so that equipment is on hand to each client and trainer at all times throughout each session. In the middle of the facility, the 5 custom made performance power racks were installed, with athletic turf laid on one side and lifting platforms, with the Belfast Bars and a range of Werksan Olympic training plates sitting adjacent to this. On the outskirts of the gym, there are a number of Watt Bikes, Concept 2 Rowers, plyo boxes, dumbbell racks, and agility training accessories, all tailored towards the GAA training protocols.
The flooring that was installed in the facility was a mix of a Sportec Premium Gym Tile, rubber gym tiles and Premium Evo turf. This Evo turf is rubber backed and provides a great space saving solution as it can be easily moved around. This is ideal for sled work and can be used for plyometric training when used with underlay. The SPORTEC® Style tiles protect subfloors from damage by falling weights.
It was a great honor for BLK BOX to design & fit The GAA National Games Development Centre. This facility is seen as one of the top performance centres in the country. The expected results from this install are that the GAA become a strengthened community, helping produce high performing athletes of all ages. It is envisaged that second-level schools and third-level colleges games will be played at the facility while it can also be used for challenge games between countries from different parts of the country given it’s central location.