Monday, 22 September 2014
The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, The Right Honourable Sajid Javid MP, has given his approval to the University of Worcester’s ‘ambitious, bold’ plans to create an International Centre for Inclusive Sport.
During a visit to the University of Worcester Arena last week, Mr Javid heard from the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor David Green, and the Head of its Institute of Sport and Exercise Science, Mick Donovan, about the plans to expand on the existing vision in place at the University, to form a world-leading centre for inclusive sport.
University Arena was designed and built specifically with the needs of
wheelchair athletes in mind and, since opening its doors last April, has
provided increased opportunities for athletes and participants of all ages and
ability levels to enjoy, and thrive in, a sporting environment, in line with
the legacy targets of the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.
proposals would see the University’s research, participation and development initiatives
expanded and its expertise utilised further to deliver truly inclusive sport to
a wide range of athletes and participants, including women, disabled
competitors and older people.
of the proposals, Mr Javid said: “I think the plans are very ambitious, very
bold; but I think that’s the kind of thing you need if you truly want to see a
change in approach towards having more inclusive sport.
keen to take a much closer look at the proposals because I think that it’s
something that can continue to build on that legacy of 2012.
“This is my
first visit to the University Arena – I’ve heard about what’s going on here and
have wanted to come down for a while – and it’s been great to have a look and
I’m really impressed by what I’ve seen. The inclusivity is especially
impressive – getting more people to participate in sport is hugely important,
and is again a key legacy of the Olympics.”
Whilst at the
University Arena, Mr Javid observed an induction session for first year
University students and met participants taking part in an ‘Active Ageing’
strength and conditioning class.
He also met
with Sophie Carrigill, a second year student and the captain of Great Britain Women’s
Wheelchair Basketball team; and Adam Nixon, who captained Great Britain’s
wheelchair basketball team to victory in the recent Invictus Games – both of
whom use the University Arena as their main training base.
believes that the plans to develop an International Centre for Inclusive Sport will
mean that more of the country’s top disabled athletes can benefit from the
inclusive approach at Worcester.
opening in 2013, the University of Worcester Arena has come to exemplify true
inclusion at all levels of sport, and that is something we want to continue to
build on in creating an International Centre for Inclusive Sport,” he said.
and the University of Worcester are already synonymous with an innovative
approach to inclusive sport, and these new developments would allow even more
elite Parasport athletes to excel, while also removing the barriers to
participation and development to participants at all levels.
delighted that Mr Javid was so enthusiastic about the proposals, as we firmly
believe that the facilities, infrastructure and approach at Worcester can
continue to build an environment in which sport is accessible for all – a key
aspect of the London 2012 legacy.”
The full set
of proposals is expected to be formalised and announced in early 2015.