Drumsurn GAC officially opened their state of the art gym on Friday 28th August 2015 and what a magnificent looking fitness facility it is.
Costing £30,000, the new gym situated at the club's ground is the result of many months blood, sweat and fund-raising and a delighted Richard Ferris was anxious to describe its attraction.
"It is finished to state of the art, we didn't cut any corners," said Drumsurn's senior football manager.
"We were only going to do this once. It's fully air conditioned. We wanted to make sure that during the winter the room was sitting up there freezing, that it was warm and welcoming. It's fully colour-coded and looks the part."
Councillor Brenda Chivers and MLA Cathal O hOisin cut the ribbon at the official opening, also pictured are Club Chairperson Marisa Mullan and Club Secretary Martina McHugh
The splendid new gym is expected to be of benefit to both the club and the community as Ferris explains.
"Ah, it's fantastic. We didn't set out just to have it specifically for the senior football team, we set out to have it for, the community and it has worked out really really well."
"We've been working at it this last two months or more. We had it open at the start of August and what we done was we gave it to the community for a taster session for the month of August totally free. We opened from 6-10 every night.
"As and from tonight we open on a payment scheme and we have targeted it at a very reasonable rate. We have it as a 'house membership'; it's not an individual membership. Your house number is your membership number and if you are lucky enough to have three or four people in your house you get the membership for £80 for the full year. We didn't plan for it to make money, the plan was to get the community into the gym and get a bit of exercise."
A typically rural club with scarce resources, Ferris says that the new gym was a necessity for the club's members.
"Both the footballers and camogie girls have really got nowhere to go, other than jump in the car and go to Limavady or Dungiven".
"And travelling from Drumsurn on dark nights after a day's work, it's ideal. Now we have our own facility just 30 seconds up the road and everything is available in-house".
As well as the new gym, there will be trainers available in-house to help with coaching and to pass on their experience.
"We have a couple of lads and ladies involved who would be involved in the fitness industry and hopefully they'll stay about the place. And hopefully pass on their knowledge that they have.learned over the last few years".
"We have a ladies group night on Wednesday nights from 8-10 which is ladies only, and that will be maybe for ladies that have never darkened a gym door for a variety of reasons. Now they have somewhere to go, they'll be there on their own and they will be very welcome. And that will grow."
Perhaps more than any other facet of the modern game, 'strength and conditioning' have been the buzz words of the last few years.
The former Derry minor coach more than anybody knows the importance of this particular aspect of training and plans to use the new gym to properly prepare the new generation of young players for the rigours of the modern game.
"We have a great band of young players coming through in and around the 15, 16 bracket. We did a wee bit of 'strength and conditioning' last Winter. Anthony Begley helped me out with a programme and we ran the programme in an eight week block".
"That was more or less body weight training because we didn't have the equipment. Now that group of lads will be starting on Sunday night next weekend so hopefully we'll continue that work on with that group of lads and take it in stages. That would be mainly working on speed work, and we're all anxious to get stuck in."
Drumsurn Community Gym is proudly supported by River Ridge Recycling Community businesses supporting community health and wellbeing
Key Holders : Martina Mc Hugh, Marisa Mullan, Anthony Doran,Richard Ferris.
Gym committee : Richard Ferris, Anthony Mc Laughlin, Shane Mc Gonigle, Joe Irwin, Sheila Murray, Emma Cassidy, Cahair Mullan, Eoin Ferris, Brendan Cassidy, Francie Chivers, Marisa Mullan