A new workout gym at Northland College has been named after a Kaikohe man who has dedicated more than four decades of his life to helping Mid North youth through sport.

The James Lawrence ("Jimbob") Strength and Conditioning Gym includes weights, benches, exercycles, 10 state-of-the-art exercise machines and other equipment.

Speaker after speaker at Friday's opening ceremony praised Lawrence's commitment, practical skills and bottomless sporting knowledge.

Bill Parangi recalled the first piece of advice he was given as a new parent at the school looking to get involved in kids' activities: ''If you want to know anything about sport, just