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22 March 2006 PR 06/33

Loughborough University welcomes Government investment in 2012 Olympic Champions

Loughborough University, home of many of the UK’s elite athletes, has welcomed the Government announcement of a £300 million funding package to help support Britain’s 2012 London Olympics medal hopefuls.

Chancellor Gordon Brown revealed details of the extra funding during his Budget speech. As well as a £300m cash injection, the Chancellor also announced that there would be an annual Schools Olympics, held in a different city every year until 2012; a new national sports foundation, with £34m from the Government and other funding from private companies; and a further £2m for evening sports clubs for young people.

Loughborough is the UK’s premier University for sports development, research and training. Already in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games athletes from Loughborough have won 22 medals – testament to the strength and depth of the University’s facilities and support network. Many of the UK’s Olympic medal hopefuls will train at Loughborough, and the campus will play a key part in the 2012 Games.

Speaking about the funding boost Chris Earle, Loughborough University’s Director of Sport said: “Loughborough University is absolutely delighted to hear that the Chancellor has announced an additional £300m for the preparation of GB athletes for the Olympic Games in Beijing and London.

“Loughborough University has a proud track record in producing Olympic and
World Champions, including Lord Seb Coe, Paula Radcliffe, David Moorcroft and Steve Backley. Lottery-funded investment in world-class facilities at Loughborough over the past four years has already paid huge dividends in the outstanding performance of Loughborough-based swimmers and athletes who, between them have produced 22 medals so far at the Comonwealth Games in Melbourne. If the University were a country it would be ranked seventh in the medal table.

“The Chancellor’s announcement means that we can look forward to working closely with our partner governing bodies of sport and the English Institute of Sport to give our Loughborough athletes the best possible chance of getting Team GB into the top five places at the London Games. Many of the athletes with the potential for competing in the 2012 Games are already here at Loughborough or will be with us in the next year or two. It is vital that they get the support and preparation they need now in order that they are able to compete with the World’s best in 2012.

“I am delighted for our colleagues at UK Sport, and in the Governing Bodies of Sport, who have worked so hard to make the case for the necessary increased spending on our potential 2012 Olympians. 2012 will be a fantastic celebration of our sporting and cultural heritage and I know that we at Loughborough want to ensure that we play our part in this once-in-a-lifetime event.”

Ends

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Notes to editors
Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place it in the top flight of UK universities; the National Student Survey ranked Loughborough equal first among full-time students; and industry highlights the University in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 40% of Loughborough’s income is for research, and 60% for teaching. The University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development; and for its outstanding work in evaluating and helping to develop social policy-related programmes.

In 2006 Loughborough celebrates the 40th anniversary of its University Charter, awarded on 19 April 1966 in recognition of the excellence achieved by Loughborough College of Advanced Technology and its predecessor Colleges. Loughborough University of Technology was renamed Loughborough University in 1996.

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