A NORTH-EAST rugby star has opened a new community gym at a Bishop Auckland school.

Back row, Ali Hogg, who plays for Newcastle Falcons, said King Gym was a fantastic addition to the existing sports facilities at King James I Academy.

“I am really impressed with what I have seen here,” said the 30-year-old Scot. “It is an excellent facility for the school and a great way to encourage kids to get fitter.

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“I particularly like the fact it is open to the community after school so kids can come along with their parents and exercise together.”

The gym is located in a former cyber cafe, which has been transformed into a compact, but well-equipped, exercise space, feature new machines such as treadmills and exercise bikes.

As well as being used by GSCE pupils, the gym will be open at lunchtime and after school to encourage youngsters to exercise in their spare time.

It will also be used by members of the Martin Gray Football Academy and Bishop Auckland Under-18s Football Club, who train at the school.

Members of the public will also be welcome to come along outside school hours from as little as £5 per week.

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