For three decades, Galway City Gym has been setting the standards for gyms in the region. It truly is the gym of champions — home to thousands of people who have set their goals and achieved them. From professional competitive athletes to the ordinary member, thousands have used Galway City Gym to better themselves physically, to feel and look better, and to embrace physical exercise under the guidance of experts.
The gym was established in 1986 after a number of leisure centres flourished briefly in Galway and then closed down, a small group of people who had been members of one or other of these centres came together to discuss the setting up of a health and leisure centre, which would not be a commercial enterprise but a members club, functioning as a co-operative enterprise, owned by the members and run by a committee elected by members. Any profits which would be made would have to be put back into the club, to guarantee maintenance, replacement, and improvement of equipment and facilities. About fifteen people attended the original meeting and a committee was formed to arrange a bank loan to rent a premises and buy equipment, the bank provided a loan of €21,000 to be paid off over seven years. In addition many of the guarantors provided an interest free loan of £100 to the club, which was to be repaid whenever the club began to pay its way.
The eighteen founder-members were mainly local business people, but also included two members of the gardai, a solicitor and a medical doctor. More than 30 years later most of these people are still active members of the Club — and have been repaid their £100. The original premises was in the basement of a new office block in Forster Street (hence the name). The total floor space was approximately 1,000 sq. feet. Showers and a sauna were installed, equipment was purchased from one of the commercial clubs that had closed down. The club was open six days a week and on certain days the weights equipment had to be moved to provide space for aerobics classes.
Membership fees were affordable for all sectors of the community allowing those who needed it the option of paying in instalments. The initial fees were £30 for six months, £50 for one year with a fee of £1.50 each time a member attended. Membership grew rapidly and after three years the committee had to seek alternative accommodation. In 1989 a long-term lease was secured in the section of the newly built Town Park Centre on the Tuam Road. The premises were prepared over the Christmas/New Year period with many members contributing their labour free of charge and by mid-January the new Galway City Gym opened.
As the gym flourished, by 1990 the club was in a position to expand, and leased the neighbouring unit which was converted into a large aerobics studio with a sprung maple floor. There was a full-time manager and aerobics co-ordinator chosen by the Board, to take charge of each specific area in the Club.
Galway City Gym provides a wide range of facilities and its membership ranges from elite athletes such as Olympic sprinter, Paul Hession to men and women of all ages and walks of life who are endeavoring to acquire and maintain some degree of health and fitness. The club has been the training base for the touring Australian Rugby Union team 1992 and more recently by the South African World Rugby Champions. Warren Gatland trained his Connacht Rugby side at Galway City Gym and Eddie O’Sullivan, one of Ireland’s most successful coaches, still trains here.
While GCG provides excellent facilities for members who are interested in competitive weightlifting, powerlifting and bodybuilding and boasts a succession of National, European and World Champions in both Powerlifting and Olympic Lifting it also caters for the majority of people who wish to avail of our facilities and trained staff to achieve their own goal, whether this be to improve their all round fitness, to lose weight or just to look better and boost their self-confidence. Thus, there is a variety of jogging, rowing, cycling and cross-training machines for improving cardiovascular and pulmonary fitness as well as a range of weights machines for the firming of body shape and strengthening of muscle and bone. More recently the gym has constructed a fully enclosed 800 sq ft studio partly on the site of the former aerobics area, which may be rented out to personal trainers and the like who wish to hold their fitness classes here.
Above all, Galway City Gym is a real club where people know each other and enjoy an easy friendship and camaraderie. Here in an environment of success, you as a member can feel inspired to achieve your goals. It has done this for three decades. Join now, and become part of Galway City Gym’s continuing journey.