THE Royal National College for the Blind has celebrated the opening of its new student gym

Staff and students gathering, along with invited guests, to celebrate the official opening at the college in Venns Lane, Hereford.

John Lynch, RNC’s director of learning and curriculum, said the gym supported students in developing their skills, in order to work in the active leisure industry.

"The student gym is available to all of our students and many benefit during their placement by using the gym as a means of staying active or supporting them to manage their physical health conditions."

Mr Lynch gave special thanks to those who had contributed to the refurbishment. In particular, he thanked guests Patrick Wrixon from The Rowlands Trust, Dr Robert Cubbidge from the Spectacle Makers’ Charity, RNC Sport and Recreation teacher, Anna Robertson and RNC student, Chris Colbert.

Mr Colbert, an accomplished strongman competitor, then officially opened the new gym. After the ribbon-cutting, sports staff and students had a go with the new equipment.

Patrick Wrixon, a trustee of the Rowlands Trust, a grant-making charity, said: "The Trust is absolutely delighted to be a part of the gym development and to be able to provide some money for the kit.

"To see it in action with the students is just wonderful. Seeing their enthusiasm and their levels of fitness is a treat and we’re delighted to be able to support it."

Students are taught on non-adapted, industry standard equipment, enabling them to transfer the skills they learn at college to employment in any gym or fitness setting.

With fitness and exercise an integral part of the college’s sport and recreation programmes, the newly equipped gym now provides a setting for teaching, planning and delivering gym sessions.