University Sports Pitch Named After Former Chair of Governors

Sports pitch naming 1

The new 3G artificial turf pitch, at the University’s St John’s Campus, has been named in honour of John Bateman OBE who stepped down as the Chair of the University’s Board of Governors in 2022 after seven years. He served as a Governor for 15 years.

The naming ceremony was presided over by the University’s Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green OBE DL, who paid tribute to Mr Bateman for all he had contributed to the University over his years with the Board of Governors.

Mr Bateman, who received both an Honorary Doctorate and a Fellowship from the University last year, said: “It’s an honour to be associated with the pitch. Sports has always been dear to my heart. The University has got a huge reputation for its health and wellbeing programmes and the medical school as well so to see this facility now in all its glory is just wonderful because it brings together so many things.

“It’s a really important feature in terms of linking the University to the wider community. That’s the most important thing about it, I think people will have many happy memories on it, but the function of the facility is to engage with people, create opportunities and memories and bridge with the wider community and local sports clubs.”

Sports pitch naming 2

The new pitch was laid after a successful grant funding application to the Football Foundation and follows decommissioning of the previous sand based artificial grass pitch after 30 years’ use servicing student and community sport. The work was completed by S & C Slatters Limited in May 2023 this year.

Steve Brewster, Chief Executive of Active Herefordshire and Worcestershire, who attended the ceremony, said: “Although it will be used by students on campus, it’s not just a facility for them. It’s also for the local community clubs and organisations and the beauty of these types of pitches is that it can be used for all sorts of things, not just football. The added bonus with it being on campus is you’ll get young people coming here and feeling part of the community and thinking ‘this is comfortable, this is familiar’.

“It’s also great for students who aren’t in first and second teams, as it’s a recreational space as well for students that aren’t necessarily associated with teams but play five a side, so it’s keeping everybody active, and not just being an elite pathway into sport.”

Tom Betts, from S&C Slatter, said: “The University of Worcester has set itself up to deliver football for the next two generations. Everyone has worked hard to get to this moment.”