13th January 2017
West Ham Ladies FC First Team Coach Karen Ray officially opened Barking & Dagenham College?s new gym on Thursday 12th January.
The College developed a partnership with West Ham United Football Club last year to help deliver a community football programme for boys. This year, they are looking to recruit a Girls’ Academy Team to try and encourage young women into the sport. West Ham Ladies coach Karen Ray will act as the role model for the Academy. She’s also keen to encourage women to go to the gym to help improve their health.
Karen explains why she is keen to encourage women to go to the gym: “Girls need to be a little bit healthier; I am a sports nutritionist and working out and healthy eating go arm-in-arm, so I’m trying to encourage girls to look after themselves."
And regarding ladies football at the College Karen added “We are looking to form a partnership to get more girls involved in football; it’s a great place to start, they will get to do the sport they love, but at the same time they will also get their education, which is very important to us at West Ham Ladies.”
The College’s gym has had a complete makeover, with over £47,000 being spent on it. It has been zoned into three areas, designated by colour: green for stretching, warm up and cool down, yellow for cardio and machine weights and blue for heavy free and assisted weights.
The changing rooms have also been refitted with all new shower fittings, tiling, painting, new mirrors and hairdryers.
The gym is used by staff, students and is also open to the general public from Monday to Saturday. Errol Parker, Curriculum Manager for Sport and Public Services explains: “The College is in a great location, with ample parking outside of peak hours, and great access via public transport. We offer great facilities at affordable prices, with a variety of different membership options available starting from as little as £10.99/month. We offer a friendly and relaxing environment with options to suit all. We run classes and activities throughout the year from Yoga to Bootcamp and always open to new ideas, too!”
The College has an open day next Thursday 19th January, 4.pm to 7.pm, during which visitors can have a tour of our new gym.
Karen was joined at the opening by Dagenham and Redbridge FC first team players Paul Benson and Craig Robson and the Club’s Community Trust Manager, Richard Tyne.