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26 March 2010 | PR 10/60

Public Health minister full of praise for SportPark


Gillian Merron and Andy Reed outside SportPark.

Hot on the heels of picking up two regional construction awards, Loughborough University’s SportPark has been named ‘the place to be’ for sporting organisations looking to be at the sharp end of developing sport in the UK.

The building was visited on Thursday (25 March) by MP for Lincoln and Minister for Public Health Gillian Merron, together with MP for Loughborough Andy Reed.

The pair were accompanied on a tour of the facility by the University’s Deputy Director of Sport Operations Tim Garfield as they met staff from several of the tenants, who spoke in glowing terms on the benefits their presence in the building has already produced.

The construction of the building encourages staff from the various national governing bodies and sporting organisations to mix in the communal café area on the ground floor, where several new partnerships and ideas have resulted from this integrated environment.

Ms Merron said: “SportPark is positively buzzing. I can tell from talking to people but also looking and feeling what it’s like, that by bringing people together, it’s creating excitement and activity between the different sports that couldn’t have happened otherwise.”

The building has also provided opportunities for sport and physical activity to become an integral part of the daily culture at SportPark. Dedicated spaces include an activity lawn, an energy track with innovative bespoke training stations and pitch markings on one of the car parks to encourage out of hours team sports. On the day of the Ministers visit the SportPark running club had a dozen participants and lunchtime pilates is proving hugely popular with tenants, with classes full and the number doubling within four weeks of starting.


Ms Merron tries out one of the in-house sporting options at SportPark.

Ms Merron added: “The sort of work that’s going on at Loughborough University is an example not just to this sector but many others. I’m interested in improving people’s health and SportPark is going to make a huge contribution to that. SportPark really is the place to be.”

Tim Garfield was delighted with the minsters enthusiasm for the project: “To see the reaction of the minister to the vibrant atmosphere this building has helped to create really rubber stamps what we wanted to achieve through SportPark.

“The idea was that it should be so much more than just office space and we are already seeing that the bodies in here have bought into that ethos and are starting to make the most of the opportunities being based here affords them, both in terms of the knowledge sharing and the benefits to the lifestyles of their employees.”


For all media enquiries contact:

Danny Coyle
Sports PR Officer
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223491
E: D.Coyle@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines

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 2009 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top five universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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