Loughborough University
Leicestershire, UK
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12 May 2009 | PR 09/52

Princess Royal launches new School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences at Loughborough University

HRH The Princess Royal was at Loughborough University today (Tuesday 12 May) to launch the new School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS) and officially open its state of the art Clyde Williams building.

Princess Anne unveils the plaque with Clyde WillliamsThe new School brings together the complementary strengths of the University’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences and the biological and psychological components of Human Sciences and will be operative from August 2009 for the start of the next academic year, with research and teaching across sport, exercise, education, health and wellbeing across the lifespan.

Its centrepiece is the impressive Clyde Williams building, an £8m construction which houses 27 laboratories, four teaching rooms and a large lecture theatre as well as the latest physiological, molecular and environmental technologies including two climatic chambers, a sprint lane and bespoke training and testing equipment.

The Princess Royal listened to a speech by Emeritus Professor and founder of the University’s first ever Sports Science Research Group Clyde Williams before formally opening the building with a short speech and plaque-unveiling ceremony. She was then given a tour of the facility where students and staff put on
a range of demonstrations to show the variety of research undertaken within the School. 

Professor Williams, whose vision since joining in 1978 has been to make Loughborough a world-leading centre for sports science research, believes the new building heralds an important phase for the School. Though he remains modest about its name.

“I still feel very much a part of the sport and exercise science community and am still active in research and other academic activity so it’s a strange feeling to have a building named after me.  It’s something I never expected. 

“When I came to Loughborough my first job was to clear the locker rooms that had been assigned as our lab. For 30 years we’ve been doing great research in sub-standard conditions and I’ve fought long and hard to get a better facility, but this is better than I ever could have expected.

“It’s been a long time coming and I’m delighted with what we have now and what we can hand over to the researchers of the future.”

Head of the new School Professor Myra Nimmo is also excited about today’s launch.

“The collective hard work of Professor Williams together with others throughout the University has given current and future staff of the School a tremendous opportunity to continue to contribute to world leading research in sport, exercise and health sciences,” she said.

“Our students too benefit from the state of the art equipment and the splendid environment.  Loughborough University is assured an exciting and positive future.”

The building was designed by David Morley Architects and built by GB-Building Solutions Ltd.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

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

Photos are available for editorial use. Please credit Andy Weekes. For larger or alternative images please contact Amanda Overend via the details above.

Notes for editors:

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 was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2008 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, with 22 out of 30 of its subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. It was named winner of the 2006, 2007 and 2008 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 institution.

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.

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