Wednesday 22 May 2019

Spotlight on Inistioge's Cois Abhann centre

Centre at the heart of local community

David Looby

THE COIS Abhann centre in Inistioge is at the heart of the community and has gone from strength to strength since it opened in September 2011 to provide sports and recreational facilities to the local community.

The centre provides a range of activities for the community, as well as facilities and dressing rooms for the local GAA and camogie clubs.

John Gilsenan of the centre said: 'It has been busier than anyone could have predicted since it opened and has become the focal point of the community.'

One of the key attractions is the Cois Abhann Gym which opened in January 2012. The gym is open 30 hours a week and managed by a committee of dedicated volunteers supported by an employee on a FAS community employment scheme. In the 18 months since it opened it has seen well over 200 people come through its doors. Equipment available in the gym includes treadmills, rowing machines and a full set of weights, among a number of other training machines. All newcomers complete a short but comprehensive induction with Gym Fitness Instructor Stephen Cody of Cody Fitness.

Committee member and keen Triathlete Brian Keane explained how the gym has progressed.

'As well as purchasing new equipment for the gym we have been very fortunate in obtaining some excellent used machines from the University of Limerick courtesy of Dave Mahedy. We were delighted when Stephen Cody agreed to get involved as Fitness Instructor and it makes such a difference for new members to be able to obtain guidance on the sort of fitness regime they should undertake. Though we are in a small community the actual gym is quite big by comparison with some hotel-based gyms and we have been able to cope with the steadily increasing numbers who use it.'

The gym has its own Facebook page - look up Cois Abhann Gym.

One of the most successful new groups to develop since the centre opened is the Craft Club. This is a weekly gathering of women with a range of skills including knitting, needlework, crochet, weaving, glass-painting and sewing among others who come to sharpen their skills and learn new ones from the other members in a very informal atmosphere. The class has a regular attendance of around 25 and runs all year round, summer and winter.

Co-founder of the class Fiona Dempsey said: 'The best thing about it is the mix of ages of the people who come every week. It is a wonderful opportunity to learn from women who have fantastic skills and great to see how many younger people are keen to learn and to demonstrate their own abilities.'

New members are always welcome

As well as a gym and Craft Class many other activities are thriving in the Cois Abhann facility. Taekwondo has become very popular with adults and children alike in the past two years with many participants at different levels up to and including black belt. There are many activities where fitness and health are a key component including the Zumba class, Pilates and Keep Fit. A Parent and Toddler group takes place every week. The centre also hosts the Inistioge Cub Scouts, the popular Club Comhrá Irish Class and Whist nights.

The GAA club make use of the Sports Hall for winter training, while many local organisations use the venue for meetings and events including the St. Vincent de Paul, Tidy Towns, Nore Vale Harriers, Vintage Rally committee, Nore Valley Athletic Club and the ICA.

See for more details.

New Ross Standard