Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Health and Recreation Department

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16 Jul

The summer holidays are in full swing and so is Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s superb GetactiveABC Shake Up Summer Programme which delivers an exciting abundance of boredom busting activities and summer schemes for kids throughout July and August.

Taking place at locations across the borough, the programme presents a vast range of persuits to keep young ones active, healthy and happy. Badminton, climbing, watersports, tennis, squash, judo, rugby, golf, multi-sports schemes and activity camps are just some of the activities on offer.

Highlights include a Crazy Summer Scheme for 4 – 12 year olds taking place at Keady Recreation Centre until Friday 23 August from 9.00am to 3.00pm weekdays.

Havelock Park, Banbridge, plays host to an amazing Athletics Camp for 8 – 14 year olds on Monday 29 to Wednesday 31st July from 10am – 2pm.

On Tuesday 23 to Friday 26 July from 10am – 12pm, Lurgan Park rolls out a Junior lawn bowls camp for young people aged 8 – 16 years.

This is just a small selection of all the fabulous activities being served up as part of the Shake Up Summer Programme. For a full list of whats on offer for young people this summer and further information including costs and how to book go to here

01 Jul


Changes to the facilities and services provided by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council across the wider Craigavon area during the July holiday period are:


Craigavon Civic & Conference CentreClosed: 12th-15th July
Craigavon Leisure CentreOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July (2 – 5.00pm)

Closed: 15th July

Cascades Leisure ComplexOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-14th July

Open: 15th July (9.00am – 5.00pm)

Waves Leisure ComplexOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-15th July

Craigavon Golf & Ski CentreOpen: 11th-15th July (9.00am – 9.00pm)
Craigavon Watersports CentreOpen: 11th-15th July (9.00am – 9.00pm)
Kinnego MarinaOpen: 11th-15th July (9.00am – 8.00pm)
Oxford Island SiteOpen: 11th-15th July (8.00am – 9.00pm)
Lough Neagh Discovery CentreOpen: 11th-15th July (10.00am – 6.00pm)
Tannaghmore FarmOpen: 11th-15th July (10.00am – 8.30pm)
Public ParksOpen: 11th-15th July (7.00am – 10.00pm)
Banbridge Leisure CentreOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July

Open: 15th July (9am – 5pm)

Dromore Community CentreOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July

Closed: 15th July

Rathfriland Community CentreOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Closed: 15th July

Gilford Community CentreOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July

Open: 15th July

Scarva Bike HireClosed: 12th and 13th July

Open: 14th July

Orchard Leisure CentreOpen: 11th July (9.15am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July

Open: 15th July (9.15am – 5pm)

Gosford Forest ParkOpen: 12th – 15th July
Loughgall Country ParkOpen: 12th – 15th July
Keady, Richhill & Tandragree Recreation CentresOpen: 11th July (9am – 5pm)

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 15th July (9am – 5pm)

Ardmore & Cathedral RoadOpen: 11th July

Closed: 12th-13th July

Open: 14th July (Cathedral Road only)

Open: 15th July (9am – 5pm)

Navan Centre & FortOpen: 12th – 15th July
26 Jun

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council are continuing to Shake up Summer for kids with the return of the £1 Junior Swim offer at leisure centres across the borough.

From 1 July until 31 August 2019, Banbridge Leisure Centre, Cascades Leisure Centre, Craigavon Leisure Centre, Orchard Leisure Centre and Waves Leisure Centre will all be offering the popular deal which allows children and young people living in and around the borough to enjoy a swimming session this summer for just £1.

Speaking at the launch at Orchard Leisure Centre, Armagh, Lord Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell said: “I’m delighted the council are once again offering the £1 Junior Swim, it’s great value for money and a perfect way to have fun with family and friends over the Summer months. The importance of young people being able to swim cannot be underestimated so I fully support the council continuing with this excellent incentive.”

The £1 Junior Swim is available for anyone aged 17 and under. Children aged four and under can swim FREE at any of the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council pools all year round. Children under the age of eight are not permitted to use the swimming pool without being accompanied by an adult.

Swim times and pool opening hours for all participating centres are available online HERE.

For the full getactiveabc kids Shake up Summer 19 programme, please visit

26 Jun

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council unveils £250,000 children’s play park in Tannaghmore Gardens and Rare Breed Animal Farm, Craigavon.

The attraction is popular with schools and families all year round, with a rare breeds animal farm, maze, and now the large play park complete with zip line, play tower, wheelchair accessible inclusive in-ground trampoline, and forest-themed eight-person group seesaw.

Children from local schools attended the launch and, having put forward their suggestions during the design process, they were delighted to see their ideas incorporated into the final designs ensuring the attraction is suitable for local needs.

The district play area, the first of its kind to receive a quarter of a million pounds investment, is tailored for specific age groups with areas for young children and toddlers, as well as more challenging play equipment, such as a zip line, for older children and teenagers.

The play park renovation makes the area an even more attractive destination for locals and, with its convenient location just off the M1, it is attractive for visitors from outside the borough.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Councillor Mealla Campbell, commented:

“It is wonderful to see the children so excited and enjoying the new play park in Tannaghmore! This district play park represents the largest ever investment this council has made in fixed play. I am delighted to see it open now just before school finished so that children will be able to enjoy it all summer!”

 The £250,000 investment is part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s £4.75m Play Strategy 2018-2026. The eight-year strategy puts ABC Council at the forefront of health, recreation and leisure in Northern Ireland, actively championing play to help improve understanding of its critical importance to children and young people.

Work was carried out by Farrans and Garden Escapes overseen by council officers.

For further information or to find out how to get involved in play in your area visit or contact Joan Noade, Play Development Officer, Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council on

24 Jun

Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council developed a Play Strategy in March 2017 to establish a framework that relates to the provision of fixed play and the development of non-fixed play, across the Borough.

At its core, the Play Strategy acknowledges that play is a natural and fundamental aspect of children and young people’s lives that supports growth and development across a range of developmental areas.

In our continuing effort to improve the quality of service provided by Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council, we are carrying out a survey to establish the number of children aged 0-14 years old in the Blackskull area that would avail of play facilities and how those children play.

Council is committed to its equality and good relations duties as set out under section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and the Rural Need Act 2016 and as part of this consultation we would like to ensure that you/your organisation has every opportunity to express your view.

To complete our survey visit

Our online Survey closes Friday 5th July 2019. Only one survey to be completed per household.

Blackskull Poster
18 Jun

This July, in celebration of Love Parks Week, Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council is hosting a range of free activities for all the family to enjoy in some of its local picturesque parks and green spaces.

The annual UK wide Love Parks Week campaign, runs from 22nd to 26th July 2019 and offers plenty of entertainment across the parks to keep the whole family entertained.

Kicking off the fun on Monday 22 July, children aged 4 to 8 years can get their hands dirty and learn about bugs, butterflies and creepy crawlies during Little Green Fingers at Lurgan Park from 10am to 12noon. In the afternoon, children of all ages can let their imagination run wild with the Den Building session at Lurgan Park from 2pm to 4pm.

On Tuesday 23 July, children aged 4 to 8 years can get the chance to go pond dipping and take part in a bug hunt and nature walk during the Mini Park Rangers Club in Portadown People’s Park from 10am to 12noon, or take part in more Den Building in the park that afternoon from 2pm to 4pm.

On Wednesday 24 July, children aged 4 to 8 years can get a taste of the great outdoors and learn adventurous new skills at Bushcraft taking place at Edenvilla from 10am to 12noon and Tannaghmore Gardens from 2pm to 4pm.

For those that missed the Little Green Fingers earlier in the week, you can catch a session on Thursday 25 July at Edenvilla Park from 10am to 12noon. Also on Thursday, children aged 4 to 8 can enjoy some traditional playground games including skipping, hopscotch, hoopla and beanbag races at Tannaghmore Gardens from 2pm to 4pm.

Rounding off the week, children aged 6 to 12 years can enjoy a multi sports session delivered by Everybody Active coaches at Tannaghmore Gardens from 10am to 12noon and Lord Lurgan Park from 2pm to 4pm.

As places are limited booking is essential. For more information or to book a place please call 07766 740427.

14 Jun

Kids have a busy summer schedule ahead of them thanks to a host of physical activities taking place as part of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s getactiveabc kids Shake up Summer 19 Programme.

Boredom will be banished this summer break with a hosts of outdoor activities and summer schemes across the borough featuring Badminton, Climbing, £1 Swim, Parks Tennis, Swimming Lessons, Squash, Sport on the Green, Multi-sports in Banbridge, Dromore, Gilford, and Rathfriland, Summer Activity Camps in Portadown Peoples Park, Summer Scheme in Orchard Leisure Centre, Watersports Activity Days and much, much more!

To give you a taster of just some of our schemes, 8 – 14 year old’s can have a splashing time at Gilford Community Centre from Monday 1  to Friday 5 July with a fabulous Kayaking Camp from 7 – 8.30pm daily.

Keady, Richhill & Tandragee Recreation Centres will be hosting sensational Summer Schemes offering an abundance of activities for 4 – 12 year olds from Monday 1 July to Friday 23 August, 9am – 3pm daily.

Craigavon Leisure Centre’s Summer Scheme kicks off for kids aged 6 – 12 years on Monday 1 July until Friday 16 August with a packed programme of fitness and fun from 10am to 4pm each day.

For the full programme and further details about the wealth of physical activities on offer over the summer months or to book please visit

13 Jun

Little adventurers can get back to nature this August and enjoy some fun-filled outdoor activities at Portadown People’s Park ‘Park Explorer Club’!

The week long club, which will take place from Monday 19th August to Friday 23rd August from 10am-12noon, is the perfect opportunity for 6-11 year old’s to discover the natural wonders of the park through a range fun outdoor play activities, environmental arts and crafts and exciting games!

Activities will include pond dipping, bird watching, identifying butterflies, mini beasts search and scavenger hunts! It’s the perfect chance to enjoy the great outdoors, meet new friends and explore all elements of this fantastic green space!

Cost is just £15 per child for the week. Children should wear old clothing, some sturdy footwear and bring a snack and a drink. Places are limited so book your place early!

To register your child’s place click HERE or for further information call 028 3831 2597.

06 Jun

The spotlight is getting ready to shine on the borough’s young sporting champions as nominations are now being accepted for the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Junior Sports Awards 2019 which will take place on Friday 27th September in Craigavon Civic & Conference Centre.

Organised by Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum in association with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, the awards recognise the wealth of young sporting talent in the borough and celebrate the achievements of those who have excelled in their chosen sport.

The awards were launched at McKeever Sports, Intersport in Rushmere Shopping Centre by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Mealla Campbell, along with Chairperson of the Forum, Edith Jamison, Headline Sponsor McKeever Sports representative Sarah Jane Owens, two of the Forum’s Ambassador Bursary recipients Jodie McKew and Emma Mitchell, and Denise Watson, compere for this year’s awards.

Speaking at the launch the Lord Mayor said, “I am delighted to launch the Junior Sports Awards to recognise and celebrate the successes this year of the young people of our Borough. It is also a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the dedication of coaches and volunteers for all of their hard work’.

Nominations are sought in the twelve categories of Junior Male, Junior Female, Junior School Team, Junior Club Team, Youth Male, Youth Female, Youth School Team, Youth Club Team, School Coach, Club Coach, Volunteer, Sports Person with a Learning Disability and Sports Person with a Physical or Sensory Disability. Details of the age range for each category is available on the nomination form.

Nomination forms are now available from all council leisure and community facilities across the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

Completed forms must be returned to Anne Benson, Junior Sports Awards, Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Oxford Island National Nature Reserve, Lurgan, BT66 6NJ or emailed to *protected email* before 12noon on Friday 21st June 2019.

For further information contact the Sports Development Department on 028 3752 9636 (Armagh), 028 4066 0605 (Banbridge) or 028 3831 1693 (Craigavon).

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