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Willem P Nel opens Community Gym at Castlebrae School

SCOTLAND tighthead prop Willem P Nel and his Edinburgh Rugby team mate Jason Tovey were delighted to officially open the new gym at Castlebrae Community High School in the city recently.

Castlebrae has a diverse student population and they welcome and celebrate the values and culture all of the young people bring to the local community.

PE teacher James McPartlin, with the help of head teacher Norma Prentice and deputy head John Johnstone and others, was determined to improve the gym facilities at the Greendykes Road campus. And thanks to Wooden Spoon donating a large sum of money, along with the help of Edinburgh Rugby and local rugby club Lismore, James now has his wish with the gym area completely transformed as we head into 2018.

In early December Wooden Spoon Scotland committee members headed to check it out along with Edinburgh Rugby’s managing director Jonny Petrie, the two high-profile players and development officers from the pro club and Lismore.

McPartlin said: “We have a number of youngsters within the school who have really taken to rugby and a key part of the sport now is the work you do in the gym.

“Now they have a state-of-the-art gym to use which is fully kitted out with everything you could need and already since it opened the kids have noticed a big difference and love going there.

“In 2018 I can see more and more of the youngsters using it as well as community groups and I’d like to say thanks to everyone who has played a part in getting us to this stage.”

Willem P Nel opens project at Castlebrae School

Castlebrae High School Wooden Spoon Community Gym opening with Willem P Nel. Photo shows Nel with pupils Katie MacNeill and Calum MacDonald.

Nel, who is recovering from a broken arm and has 19 Scotland caps, spends a lot of time in the gym – and was very impressed by what he saw as an S3 class gave everyone a demonstration.

“These facilities are great, far better than I had access to when I was young,” Nel stated.

“It is great to see the young people using the gym so enthusiastically and with smiles on their faces. The gym, just like out on the pitch, teaches team work skills and helps people form lasting friendships and get fit at the same time,” he added.