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9 January 2008 | PR 08/02

Loughborough home to hockey’s pioneering performance centre

Loughborough University will host the country’s first National Performance Centre (NPC) for hockey as part of a new initiative announced by sport governing body England Hockey.

Loughborough has teamed up with Nottingham Trent University to form the East Midlands NPC which allows players to access top quality coaching and athlete support whilst continuing their education.

The scheme has been established by England Hockey and is aimed at players aged 18-23 years who are studying at NPC institutions. As well as specialist coaching there will be world-class strength and conditioning programmes to give athletes top physiotherapy, lifestyle and medical support.

More than 20 players are expected to access facilities at Loughborough in the centre’s first year, including members of the University’s 1st XI who are current BUSA Champions and the only University side to reach the final 16 of the Euro Hockey League.

Loughborough has a celebrated history of hockey, with many of its players achieving selection to representative squads. Six of England’s players at the last Men’s World Cup had been through the Loughborough system and coaches to the current England men’s and women’s squads are both Loughborough graduates.

Head of Performance Sport at Loughborough University, Andy Borrie, said: “I am delighted Loughborough University has been chosen to be part of the first National Performance Centre. The fact we’ve been selected as the only pilot and are ready to start in January is testament to the quality programme we already have in place. “This exciting new partnership will enable us to build on our history of expertise in elite hockey and will give the country’s best young players the opportunity to continue their studies whilst receiving world class coaching and support.”

Director of Sport and Lifestyle at Nottingham Trent University James Hayter added:
“Establishing this National Performance Centre demonstrates the growing reputation of Nottingham Trent University in sport, and our ability and determination to deliver high quality services to elite athletes.”

“England Hockey has shown great belief in our potential to become a major player in the future of hockey in this country. It is likely that a number of Great Britain hockey players at the 2012 Olympics will have gone through the National Performance Centre system. As well as supporting current students, elite players wishing to enter higher education will be encouraged to consider applying to one of the consortium institutions by England Hockey.”

David Faulkner, England Hockey Performance Director, said: “The NPC will provide athletes with an opportunity to excel in a highly competitive performance environment with support that ensures their educational aspirations are not damaged. At the same time, it will allow the delivery of technical input to enhance skill development and give players the highest quality strength and conditioning, physiotherapy and lifestyle support.”

Sally Munday, England Hockey Development Director, said: “The centre is a vital component in our plans to provide a consistent and equitable pathway for players. We were extremely impressed by the enthusiasm and creativity of the bid for this NPC and are very excited about the opportunities that it will offer our talented hockey players.”

The East Midlands NPC opens this month in pilot phase and will go fully operational from September. Other local institutions in the consortium are Loughborough College, South Nottingham College and the University of Nottingham. The Hockey West NPC and South Coast NPC launch in September with a fourth centre in Yorkshire following in 2009.

-ENDS-


For all media enquiries contact:

Amanda Overend
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: A.J.Overend@lboro.ac.uk

Notes to editors

  1. 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 facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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