Sunday 20 October 2019

Dawson hails 'exciting' impact of new €1.5m Ken Wall Centre

Club notes

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Leinster Rugby have this week formally opened the Ken Wall Centre of Excellence in Energia Park.

The new Centre of Excellence, the first of five planned for each of the rugby areas of Leinster, was officially opened by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross.

The Centre, which cost €1.5m, was funded by the Department of Sport's Capital Funds Programme, the IRFU and by private investment, and will be home to the Leinster Rugby Sub-Academy as well as the Leinster Age Grade programme. Also in attendance at the launch were members of the Wall family, who made a significant contribution to the project and have dedicated the Centre to the memory of their late father, Ken.

Speaking at the opening, Leinster Rugby CEO Mick Dawson said: "The Ken Wall Centre of Excellence would not have been possible without the significant support of the Wall family to whom we are most grateful and we hope that this Centre is a fitting tribute to their late husband and father Ken, a proud St Mary's College man. To Minister Shane Ross and the Irish Government, to the IRFU and of course to all the generous benefactors that made this dream a reality, thank you.

"This Centre is the first step in an ambitious programme of ours to have a centre in each of our five rugby playing areas, namely Metro, Midlands, North-Midlands, South-East and the North-East. The Metro Area is now brilliantly catered for with a state-of-the-art, modern facility in Energia Park and the plan now is to start work on the other four.

"With news of the RDS Redevelopment hopefully not too far away, it is an exciting time for the future of Leinster Rugby."

The Ken Wall Centre of Excellence was built by Extraspace Solutions and it took 11 months to build. It was fully functional from July 1, 2019 when the doors were opened for the first time to this season's age grade male and female players.

The Centre is 606 sq. metres in total and is fully operational with a gym (210 sq. metres), two meeting rooms, a large office space, two dressing rooms and showers, a medical room and kitchen.

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