Belfast Telegraph

Nevin Spence Centre a 'vibrant and fitting' way to remember tragic young Ulster player

The education centre has officially opened

By Claire Williamson

A new education and heritage centre at Kingspan Stadium has been officially opened in memory of young Ulster player Nevin Spence who tragically died in a farming accident.

The Nevin Spence Centre at the home of Ulster Rugby was named in memory of the rugby player who died along with his father Noel and his brother Graham in September 2012.

Housed in the Memorial End Stand, the Centre enables visitors to explore the history of rugby in Ulster and the benefits that the game has for players, supporters and society in general.

It also features science and technology that underpins the game of rugby to fit with the school curriculum.

Among a host of interactive and digital activities - visitors will also get the unique experience of what it feels like to kick for a goal at Kingspan Stadium.

President of the IRFU Ulster Branch Bobby Stewart said: “This centre tells the history of rugby in Ulster, while demonstrating the important benefits of a healthy lifestyle and I have no doubt that it will become an important resource for schools and the education community across the province.

“The centre is also a vibrant and entirely fitting way to remember Nevin who was so tragically taken from us almost three years ago.

“On behalf of the Ulster Branch, I would like to thank the Sports Minister and the Northern Ireland Executive for their support of this project.”

Officially opening the centre Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín said the facility will help "educate future generations for years to come".

Carál Ní Chuilín said: “I am pleased to officially open The Nevin Spence Centre at Kingspan Stadium. The stadium has, from its inception, placed the community benefits at the very top of the priority list.

“The Nevin Spence Centre will bring children from all over the North and from all backgrounds to Kingspan Stadium and will allow them to learn new skills in a very fun environment.

"The incredible transformation of the stadium is now complete. We have a world-class stadium as the home of Ulster Rugby and a state-of-the-art education centre that will provide our young people with the opportunity to learn about the creative industries and the STEM agenda.

The Sinn Fein MLA added: "I would like to congratulate everyone involved with the project and I hope that this wonderful new facility will help educate future generations for years to come.”

The Nevin Spence Centre opens to the public on September 1 2015 and is open Monday - Friday from 10am until 5pm.

Visits to the Nevin Spence Centre must be booked in advance.

To set up a booking, please email nevinspencecentre@ulsterrugby.com outlining the date that you wish to visit and the number of people who wish to attend.

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