STUDENTS at a Newport school were left feeling inspired after ex-pupil and Welsh footballer Chris Gunter unveiled their new gym.
St Julian’s School hosted the grand opening of the gym yesterday alongside the Wales and Reading FC footballer who the gym is named after.
Previously used as a drama room and Chris’ old registration room, the gym is equipped with treadmills, exercise bikes, cross trainers and weights.
Plans for the development of the gym were put into action after Sports Wales conducted a school sport survey and staff realised pupils wanted more fitness within their education.
Fifteen-year-old pupil Georgie Webb said, “The gym is really cool. I really think it will help inspire pupils who enjoy sport.”
Promising footballer, 14-year-old George Ratcliffe said he hopes to follow in Chris’ footsteps.
He said: “It’s so good to see someone like Chris who has gone through the same steps I’m going through so it really encourages me. I am really surprised by the gym and I didn’t expect it to be this good. I can’t wait to use it.”
In a question and answer session with the pupils, the sporting star encouraged pupils to aim high to achieve their goals.
He said: “Being here brings back memories of being in this room running out into the yard to play football. All I ever really had in mind was to play football.”
He reminded pupils to stay grounded and work hard in and outside the classroom adding: “To be back here and see my name above the door is something I never thought would happen.”
Newly appointed acting head teacher Rhys Evans was also at the opening and said he was delighted for the school and wanted to make sure that all pupils feel inspired.
He said: “It’s amazing for Chris to give back to us, it’s all about pupils believing in themselves and feeling good about the school.”