A new education and heritage centre has been opened at the Kingspan Stadium in memory of Ulster Rugby player Nevin Spence who died in a farming accident in 2012.
The Nevin Spence Centre opened today by Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, aims to enable visitors to explore the history of rugby and the benefits that the game can bring.
Nevin, 22, his brother Graham, 30, and his father Noel, 52, were killed along in a slurry tank accident at the family farm near Hillsborough in September 2012.
Their sister Emma, who tried to rescue her family, was treated in hospital after the accident.
At the time of the accident, Shane Logan, chief executive of Ulster Rugby, described Nevin was “an exceptional young man”.
“A man who was killed in his prime aged 22 with an immense future in front of him and we know that because in his 22 years he was a model
Speaking today Minister Ní Chuilín said: “The Nevin Spence Centre will bring children from all over the north and from all backgrounds to Kingspan and will allow them to learn new skills in a very fun environment.
“The incredible transformation of the Stadium is now complete.
“We have a world class stadium as the home of Ulster Rugby and a state of the art education centre. This will provide our young people with the opportunity to learn about the creative industries.”
Bobby Stewart, President IRFU (Ulster Branch), said: “This centre tells the history of rugby in Ulster, while demonstrating the important benefits of a healthy lifestyle and I have no doubt that it will become an important resource for schools and the education community across the province.
“The centre is also a vibrant and entirely fitting way to remember Nevin who was so tragically taken from us almost three years ago.
“On behalf of the Ulster Branch, I would like to thank the Sports Minister and the Executive for their support of this project.”