Glasgow's new Sports Facility for current and future Aloysians

Fr Provincial (far right) with the four Head Masters and the Chair of Governors
Fr Provincial (far right) with the four Head Masters and the Chair of Governors

The British Jesuit Provincial has blessed and dedicated the new Sports Facility on St Aloysius College’s Garnethill campus in Glasgow, following its officially opening by Glasgow Warriors Head Coach Gregor Townsend and Scottish Hockey Internationalist Susan McGilveray. The three-storey building will transform the health and fitness of the College’s pupils, diversify the number of sports it can provide, improve extra-curricular activities and offer year-round weather cover. It will also reduce the amount of time pupils need to travel to external venues and increase the number of Physical Education subjects they will be able to study from eight to nine.

The opening event at St Aloysius College began with music from the College Schola, before brief speeches from the Chairman of Governors John Hylands, Head Master Matthew Bartlett and Dean Tearney, Director of Sport. After the new Sports Facility had been blessed and dedicated by Fr Provincial Dermot Preston SJ, Gregor Townsend and Susan McGilveray took questions from pupils about their lives in sport and how pupils can be inspired by their sporting endeavours.

Four Head MastersSusan McGilveray & Gregor Townsend with the Sports Captains

Built over three floors, the Sports Facility on Dalhousie Street contains a spin area for 15 spin bikes and a multi-gym with weights on the Ground Floor, where there is also a dance and metafit studio, complete with mirrored wall and ballet barres and modern changing facilities. On the First Floor, a double height four-court Gym Hall is able to accommodate a range of indoor sports such as badminton, basketball, five-a-side football, indoor hockey and full size volleyball. On the same level, there is a café/social space with north facing glass-fronted balcony overlooking the current playground. Above the Gym Hall is a viewing gallery so that spectators can get a bird’s eye view of the sporting action.

The new building has been designed to complement the surrounding area of Garnethill, including the prestigious Mackintosh Building and the new Reid Building which form part of the Glasgow School of Art. The sports facility has been constructed within a rectangular build of bronze aluminium, brickwork and glass.

The construction of a new sports facility has been in the planning for several years, and all four Head Masters who have presided over the project from conception to completion – Fr Adrian Porter SJ, John Stoer (the first lay Head), John Browne and current Head Master Matthew Bartlett – were all present to see their sporting ambition come to fruition.The new building is designed to complement the architecture of the neighbourhood

Future generations, new opportunities

“We are immensely proud to be part of the continuing history of this very special school,” said Mr Bartlett. “Not only will our new, modern facility allow current pupils to continue to make an impact in the world of sport but also future generations of Aloysian sportsmen and women in the years to come … We look forward to seeing our pupils engage in a wider range of sports and achieve their goals, making the most of their talents and ultimately, inspiring others. Great things do happen when we get active.”

Susan McGilveray described the new Sports Facility as something special for the College and its pupils. “Every pupil at the school has a new opportunity to engage in sport at all levels,” she said. “The reduced travel time will allow pupils more time to spend on their fitness and the inclusion of the fitness suite adds another dimension to their training and will only help improve the quality of teams going forward.” Ms McGilveray’s invaluable experience and expertise has been shared with pupils over a number of years through hockey coaching and umpiring.