LEADING Herefordshire figures and personalities from the local and wider sporting communities gathered last Wednesday for the opening of the prestigious thePoint4 at Hereford’s Royal National College.

Staff and students swelled the gathering to more than 400 as the state-of-the-art multi-million-pound sports and complementary therapy centre was officially launched.

Principal guest at the ceremony was BBC sports pundit and Daily Mail columnist Des Kelly, who had experienced the facilities at the College last year when he trained for a day with the England Blind Football team.

“The day I spent at the College was one of the most inspirational I have had,” he said.

As well as recounting his own Blind Football experiences, Kelly interviewed some of the Paralympian stars present, including wheelchair rugby player Josie Pearson, shooter James Bevis and members of the England Blind Football squad.

As was to be expected from such an innovative and impressive facility, even the opening ceremony was something different.

Members of the England Blind Football team and Paralympian Bevis pulled two ropes which released two nets full of footballs from the ceiling to bounce across the floor.

It was a particularly appropriate, and sporting, way in which to launch one of the city’s most impressive facilities.