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Ground broken on new sports centre

A ground breaking ceremony has taken place for a multi-million pound sporting development at the University of Hull.

The ceremony, held this afternoon, Monday, August 14, marks the beginning of work on a new Sports Centre at the Cottingham Road University, part of a £16-million upgrade in sporting facilities.

Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor at the University of Hull, was joined by representatives of contractor Henry Boot, including Managing Director Simon Carr and Project Manager Steve Foster.

Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor for the University of Hull, said: “The investment will significantly boost the quality and size of facilities on offer at the University to meet a rising level of demand among students, as well as offer high-quality sporting provision for visiting teams and the wider community.

“We are committed to providing a sporting offer of the highest quality and this investment is a critical part of this. It will also enable the sports team to build on the already successful agenda of increasing participation, improving performance and creating better opportunities for competition for students, partners and community.”

We are committed to providing a sporting offer of the highest quality and this investment is a critical part of this.  Professor Glenn Burgess, Acting Vice-Chancellor, University of Hull

The new facility will include a 12-court sports hall, including international-standard netball courts and bleacher-style seating for 700 spectators. The aim is to make the University the regional hub for netball.

It will also include a strength and conditioning suite plus enhanced changing facilities.

As part of the work, the current sports hall, which is listed, is being refurbished to include a 120 station fitness gym, two aerobics/spin studios, a martial arts combat gym and enhanced changing facilities.

In addition, a £1.8-million football hub, funded in part with a £500,000 donation from the Premier League and The FA Facilities Fund is being created, including a pavilion, classrooms, changing rooms and a physiotherapy room.

Already the investment has seen resurfacing of all the artificial pitches, which include a sand-based hockey pitch and two 3G football pitches as well as a new 3G pitch which is football and rugby compliant. 

Dave Varley, Head of Sport at the University of Hull, said: “It is fantastic we are breaking ground on the next phase of our investment in enhancing sporting our sports facilities. We place a high value on sport and this in the next investment in our sport and active recreation transformation strategy.

“Our students have been heavily involved in shaping this investment and we can’t wait to show off our superb new facilities when they are finished. As well as access to high-quality sporting facilities, this investment will enable us to carry out research and further academic study into elite performance.”

Our students have been heavily involved in shaping this investment and we can’t wait to show off our superb new facilities when they are finished.  Dave Varley, Head of Sport, University of Hull 

Caitlin O’Neill, Sports Officer, Hull University Union, said: “I am excited to see work begin on these new facilities. Sport is central to the University experience of a wide-range of students, whether that’s learning new skills, developing sporting excellence or simply offering a break from their studies to focus on their health and wellbeing.

 “The outdoor pitches and state of the art pavilion will support our competitive teams as they represent the University nationally, welcoming students from across the country to campus. Better facilities will also allow a higher quality of practice, helping to take University sport up to the next level.”

The University’s sports facilities receive around 4,000 visits a week, including from the local community, youth sports clubs and regional and national amateur and professional sports teams.

There are more than 2,000 members of the Athletic Union and 53 sports clubs.

The University of Hull has a strong link with local sporting clubs, including being the official Training Partner of Hull City Tigers.

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