Other Sports

Indoor pole vaulting facility opens Friday

Herald-Leader Staff Report

The Whelan/Nault Vault Center opens Friday in Shelbyville.
The Whelan/Nault Vault Center opens Friday in Shelbyville. Photo submitted

One of the nation’s only private indoor pole vault facilities will be opened and dedicated in Shelbyville on Friday.

The Whelan/Nault Vault Center will honor two of Kentucky’s track and field legends in former University of Kentucky coach Press Whelan and longtime official and Bellarmine assistant coach William “Bill” Nault.

The Whelan/Nault Vault Center was built over the past year by Ray, Anne and Andrea Sabbatine. Andrea who is still jumping at 27 was officiated by and coached by Nault. Ray Sabbatine was recruited and coached by Whelan from 1967 to 1971 when he graduated from UK.

Kentucky Elite Athletics, a 501c3 nonprofit organization will manage the facility as Ray Sabbatine is the president of the board of directors. The Mission of Kentucky Elite Athletics is to provide a training and competition venue for pole vaulters from Kentucky and surrounding states.

The facility is located at 237 Bonniemere Road in Shelbyville.

The Whelan/Nault Vault Center is a privately run facility. Inquiries should be directed to Ray Sabbatine at (859) 806-0935.

Ray Sabbatine, a longtime corrections professional, said, “It is exciting to build gyms as opposed to jails. Getting ‘high’ at the Whelan/Nault Vault Center is a good thing.”