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19 July 2007 PR 07/99

State-of-the-art athletics centre to be named after Lord Coe

Sebastian Coe will be guest of honour at Loughborough University on Monday 23 July when the High Performance Athletics Centre (HiPAC) is renamed the ‘Seb Coe’ building.

Before an audience of invited guests, Loughborough Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Pearce will ask Lord Coe to unveil a plaque at the facility to mark the naming of the building after one of Loughborough’s most famous graduates.

Back in 2002 Lord Coe turned the first turf with fellow Loughborough graduate David Moorcroft to mark the start of construction work on the £5 million facility. Just one year later, both returned to the University to officially open the state-of-the-art athletics venue.

“We’re delighted to welcome Lord Coe back to the University for the renaming,” said Chris Earle, Loughborough University’s Director of Sport. “As one of our best known graduates, the Chairman of London 2012 and, of course, a double Olympic champion athlete, it is more than fitting that this outstanding facility is named in his honour.”

Loughborough’s indoor athletics facility is one of the very best in the country, boasting an eight lane 135m sprint straight, jumps and throws areas and a specialist weights training room. It provides a crucial all-weather training base for both Loughborough students and many of the UK’s leading elite athletes.

Seb Coe commented: "I am very honoured to have this centre named after me. I have fond memories of my time at Loughborough University. The training facilities it provides for students and elite athletes are excellent. On 27 July this week, we mark exactly five years to go to the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games, and I hope to be watching many Loughborough University graduates competing at them and getting involved in some way."

Lord Coe, who graduated from Loughborough University in 1979 with a degree in Economics, won Gold in the 1,500 metres at the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and is the only man to successfully defend the 1,500 title. He also won Silver medals in the 800m at both Games.

He is now chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).

Before the naming ceremony Lord Coe will give the oration for Sir Keith Mills, deputy chairman of LOCOG, who will be presented with the award of Honorary Doctor of Technology by the University, in recognition of his innovations in business and customer loyalty, and for his role in the leadership of the successful London 2012 Olympic Games bid.

ENDS

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Notes to editors

  1. The media are invited to the renaming ceremony, which will take place at 12 noon on Monday 23 July at the indoor athletics centre. Please contact Hannah Baldwin, in advance, on 01509 222239, if you wish to attend.

  2. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research-intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training f acilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2006 National Student Survey, the University gained a top five place, with nine out of Loughborough’s 23 departments topping their subject tables. Loughborough was also placed 6th in the 2007 Times Good University Guide and was named winner of the 2006 THES award for the UK’s Best Student Experience. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded five Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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