Friday, 12 April 2013
A new £15million pounds sports arena was officially handed over to the University of Worcester today.
Following the successful completion of construction work, the University of Worcester Arena is a step closer to opening its doors.
This first-class facility will become a national centre of excellence for disability sport, designed to be fully inclusive and building on the work of the University across a host of disability sports, including wheelchair basketball and blind football.
The 5,300m2 Arena, which is built on the site of the former fruit and vegetable market in Hylton Road, Worcester, is capable of hosting major indoor sports events, with retractable seating provided for 2,000 people and excellent television infrastructure.
Complementing the sports facilities already at the University’s St John’s Campus as well as those within the adjacent Riverside building, the Arena will be a central venue for coach education and sport science support for both local and professional clubs and athletes.
Mick Donovan, Head of the University’s Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, said: “Many people have worked really hard to help to make this happen and we are thrilled with the outcome and are genuinely excited about the sporting opportunities we will be creating for so many sporting generations in the future. The Arena will really help to put Worcester on the map as a sporting city and attract some great events to the region.”
Tamar Thompson OBE, Vice Chair of Governors, added: “This is an amazing facility, not only for Worcester, but its international standards are going to make a real impact nationwide.
“The board of governors is absolutely thrilled with this facility and the opportunities for students and sports people across the country.”
With its multiple courts, this brand new development is capable of holding three basketball tournaments at any one time.
The University of Worcester is the home of the Worcester Wolves Basketball Club, which will move into the Arena later this month.
The grand final of netball’s Superleague is also due to be hosted at the Arena on May 25th, which will be broadcast by Sky Sports and BBC Radio Five Live.
The University of Worcester Arena was one of only six national projects to receive funding from Sport England’s Iconic Facilities Olympic legacy fund, with a grant of £1.5m. The campaign also attracted generous grants from The Trustees of the Foundation for Sport and the Arts (£250,000), England Basketball (£375,000), England Badminton (£200,000) and Herefordshire philanthropist Clive Richards (£25,000). More than £70,000 has also been raised from individual, family and team donations.
Thea Brookes, second-year Physical Education and Sports Studies student, said: “The opportunities for students and the community that the Arena is going to provide are absolutely fantastic. The inclusive range of sports that can be played in here is going to make a real difference for everyone.”
Matthew Jarvis, final-year Physical Education and Sports Studies student, added: “Having the University of Worcester Arena opened is going to make the University nationally recognised as one of the best places to study sport.”