The Royal National College for the Blind (RNC) is the UK’s leading specialist residential college of further education and training for people who are blind or partially sighted; as an existing CYBEX customer, the RNC opened a brand new sports centre in 2009, equipped with over 70 pieces of CYBEX equipment. This month the site was chosen as a pre-Games training camp for the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
Based in Hereford, the RNC underwent a £23.5 million campus redevelopment project, which resulted in the opening of thePoint4, the College’s multi-million pound sports and complementary therapy centre.
At 5680m², thePoint4 was built to accommodate both disabled and non-disabled users from both its student population alongside the general public. As an elite training facility, it also aims to attract local, regional, national and international disability sports groups.
thePoint4 includes one gym exclusively for use by RNC students who are training to work in the fitness industry and a second larger facility for students and gym members from the general public.
Both gyms are equipped with a comprehensive range of IFI stage 2 accredited CYBEX cardiovascular and strength equipment, including every piece from CYBEX’s VR3 IFI strength line. CYBEX’s FT360 cable trainer was also installed, plus its 500 series free weight benches and smith press. Since the initial installation, thePoint4 has added to its suite of CYBEX equipment by purchasing a Bravo functional trainer.
Tony Larkin, director of RNC, was instrumental in choosing CYBEX to equip the new facilities. He said: “Since thePoint4 opened, we have received excellent feedback from all user groups, particular those who are disabled. The equipment is accessible, easy to use and well set out and the support provided throughout by CYBEX has been excellent.”
Chris Combe, centre manager at thePoint4, also commented: “When we began to research equipment, we visited a variety of facilities with two of our visually impaired staff and they both gave us great feedback on CYBEX equipment. We didn’t want to have two styles of equipment at the Centre – one for disabled and one for non-disabled – and with CYBEX, we didn’t have to.”
In addition to its role as a leading specialist residential college, the RNC is home to British Blind Football and also hosts the national Blind Football League. Having been selected as a pre-Games training camp for the London 2012 Paralympic Games, earlier this month the RNC hosted the Spanish Paralympic blind football team, who used the facilities as part of its pre-Games training before moving into the Paralympic Village.
In addition to the two gyms, thePoint4 also includes indoor and outdoor sports pitches, a sports hall which can accommodate 280 seated spectators, two spa rooms, a fitness pool plus conference and meeting rooms.
For more information on the RNC and thePoint4, visit the website www.rncb.ac.uk.