Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

Lifestyle

Novel Galway city business venture is great sport

Published

on

The unique Pure Skills facility gives people a chance to experience 10 of the world’s most popular sports – soccer, hurling, tennis, golf, rugby, Gaelic football, basketball, cricket and baseball – in one indoor venue. Photos: Iain McDonald.

Lifestyle – Judy Murphy meets the men behind a ‘sports fusion’ venue that provides fun and games in Galway

Adrian Reen is an understated, self-contained type of person, not given to exaggeration. So when he says it was “a hairy ride” for the first few years after setting up in business, it’s a safe bet things were tough.

Adrian, an industrial engineer by training, and his business partner Patrick Flanagan, a production engineer, opened the unique sports and leisure facility that is Pure Skill in Galway City in 2009.  This ‘sports fusion’ venue gives people a chance to experience 10 of the world’s most popular sports – soccer, hurling, golf, tennis, golf, rugby, Gaelic football, basketball, cricket and baseball – in one indoor venue.

Rugby legend Ronan O’Gara did the honours at the height of his success with Ireland and Munster. All was looking good for Patrick, who had previously worked as an engineer in Australia, and Adrian, who had been a plant manager with Pepsi Cola in Dubai before returning to Ireland where he worked with Boston Scientific before embarking on this project.

But Pure Skill and the recession hit the ground together, a nightmare scenario for a start-up.

However, Adrian and Patrick kept their heads and kept faith in their project. In five years they have catered for 150,000 people of all ages and sporting ability and now, five years on, Pure Skill is very much a business on the up.

On Friday afternoon, a group of hillwalkers come through the doors of the 20,000 square foot venue in Galway West Retail Park, Knocknacarra. They are given an introductory talk by Adrian before being divided into teams of three. Each person receives a scorecard and the teams set off in different direction to compete in a range of activities. It’s a competition, but one driven by fun and good-natured banter.

There’s no set sequence, so teams can start wherever they want, and will have two hours to complete the circuit in this fully automated arena, where the 10 different activities are housed in 20 different cages. Two cages are devoted to each activity, with the arena being fully floodlit and floored with Astroturf. Music plays in the background and there’s a constant hum of machines as they release various balls for different sports.

Each participant completes the 10 activities and their scorecard is marked following each one. The highest possible score is 100 points, but that’s nigh on impossible to achieve. England and Manchester United soccer player Gary Neville visited a couple of years ago as part of a stag party and his score was 43. Thirty to thirty-five is a good score, says Adrian, adding that having such a variety of sports on offer is “a great leveller, because people won’t be good at all 10”.

A contestant’s card is marked by his or her teammates, so there is no scope for cheating. In any case, everything is monitored by CCTV, which will be called upon in the event of a dispute.

For more, read this week’s Galway City Tribune.

CITY TRIBUNE

Living with the ignominy of anonymity on social media

Published

on

Country Living with Francis Farragher

Technically, I am on Facebook and Twitter, but I can never seem to quite motivate myself to tell all my virtual friends that my dog has overeaten today; that the cat has disappeared again without a word of explanation; or that the neighbour down the road is driving out in a brand-new car.

At times, I imagine that I’m suffering from some type of serious personality disorder because of my failure to get excited about sharing the most boring details of my daily chores with a cohort of people, some of whose names I am familiar with, while others could have no possible connection to my existence on this planet.

Mind you, I bear no animosity towards those people who want to befriend me via the world of fibre optics and instant communication from any part of the globe, but neither do I harbour any great desire to start up conversations about the banalities of life.

It really is bad enough to have to endure and survive those tribulations every day without having to trouble my newly-acquired set of friends – that I don’t know – with the details of how good or bad my day has been.

I’m sure that there are super ‘shrinks’ out there who will make a case for the virtue of being able to share your daily woes and wonders with those in the world of cyber space, but a thousand Facebook communications (not that I’ll ever make them) just can never compensate me for a face-to-face interaction with an old friend or even a regular verbal sparring partner in the local watering hole, who can jibe me about some alleged minor transgression on my part over recent times.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Huge study gives thumbs up to dairy in the diet

Published

on

Health, Beauty and Lifestyle with Denise McNamara

Every time I go to a café, I am amazed by the offering now available for people who no longer want to add milk to their brew. Even in the tiniest of coffee kiosks, they stock oat, soy or almond milk as an alternative to cow’s milk, usually for a surcharge of around 50c, reflecting the high cost of these alternatives.

The big food companies have lately got in on the act, offering non-dairy yogurts in the convenient small pots in most supermarkets. Customers no longer have to head to the health store for these premium, specialist products.

The trend to non-dairy and vegan diets – which means no animal products at all – has certainly become mainstream among Generation Z and Millennials.

But is it good for your health?

A comprehensive new study originating in Sweden would suggest otherwise – at least when it comes to the consumption of dairy.

The international team of scientists studied the dairy fat consumption of 4,150 adults aged 60 living in Sweden which has the world’s highest levels of dairy production and consumption.

They measured blood levels of a particular fatty acid that is mostly found in dairy foods rather than relying on people recording the amounts and types of dairy foods eaten, which may be unreliable given that dairy is commonly used in a variety of foods.

Experts then followed this group for an average of 16 years to observe how many died, had heart attacks, strokes and other conditions indicating cardiovascular disease (CVD). After statistically adjusting for other known CVD risk factors such as age, income, lifestyle, dietary habits, they concluded that those with higher intakes of dairy fat had a lower risk of CVD compared to those with low intakes.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Continue Reading

Galway in Days Gone By

Galway In Days Gone By

Published

on

At the official opening of the new tile factory in Portumna on January 13, 1967.

1921

Tenants’ desperation

That the land question is far from settled in certain areas is obvious to those who have been reading the series of articles contributed to these columns by a correspondent in South Galway. The slowness of the Congested Districts Board has been proverbial.

Our correspondent suggests that failure to effect local settlements within a reasonable time, coupled with the inefficiency he charges, have brought about a condition of discontent which may result in a violent explosion at any moment.

No one could contemplate with equanimity such an outburst, for it might have an effect far beyond that intended and might endanger national peace at a period when its preservation is of supreme moment to the Irish people.

But it would seem indisputable that the Congested Districts Board is taking risks that no public body is entitled to take; and the completion of the division of the estates involved should be pushed forward in the public interest without further unnecessary delay.

The tenants on the Ardilaun estate at Cong have already taken the matter into their own hands. At a meeting attended by congests, some of whom walked fifteen miles to be present, it was declared that all confidence had been lost in the Congested Districts Board “which has long since practically ceased to function on this estate” and the tenants requested Dáil Éireann to take over the administration.

The facts in regard to the Ardilaun property are sufficiently remarkable to afford in themselves a damnatory criticism of the Board’s methods. It contains seven hundred householders, whose average valuation is from 15s. to £3. Congestion and poverty is abound; there is little untenanted land to relieve either.

Migration of bodies of tenants is the only real and permanent remedy. But nine years after the late Lord Ardilaun expressed his desire to sell, the Congested Districts Board has not, it would appear, put forward any real effort to relieve a distressing situation.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending