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Prime Minister Gordon Brown talking to students

30 April 2010 | PR 09/77

Labour leader launches Sport Manifesto at Loughborough University

Gordon Brown was at Loughborough University today (30 April) to launch the Labour Party’s Sport Manifesto.

Speaking to a group of the University’s students and staff, Mr Brown said it was an honour to announce the manifesto at an institution synonymous with sport.

“There is no better place than Loughborough University to announce our Sport Manifesto,” he said. “Across the country when people talk about sport they mention Loughborough, when they talk about sports performance they mention Loughborough, when they talk about advances in sports technology they mention Loughborough and when they talk about sports management of the future they mention Loughborough.

“Not only is Loughborough at the centre of preparations for the Olympic Games, but Team GB will now base themselves here.

“Loughborough University is an example of excellence. Its staff and students are some of the greatest in the world and it’s a great honour to launch our Sport Manifesto at Loughborough.”

Mr Brown was accompanied on the visit by Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell and the Labour candidate for Loughborough Andy Reed.

They were welcomed to the University by Vice Chancellor Professor Shirley Pearce.  While on campus they also met Chris Earle (Director of Sport), Professor Myra Nimmo (Head of the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences), Professor Mike Caine (Director of the Sports Technology Institute), and representatives from the Students’ Union Executive, including President Rob Hulme.

During their visit to the University, Mr Brown and his colleagues visited the Gymnastics Research Centre to see a number of potential members of the Olympic squad during one of their training sessions.

He then went to the High Performance Athletics Centre (HiPAC), where he launched the Manifesto and answered questions from the gathered audience of University students, staff and elite athletes including British sprinters Martyn Rooney and Lloyd Gumbs and British female boxer Amanda Coulson.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Hannah Baldwin
Head of PR
Loughborough University
T: 01509 222239
E: H.E.Baldwin@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

About the Gymnastics Research Centre

Opened six years ago, the Gymnastics Research Centre is equipped for both men’s and women’s Artistic Gymnastics as well as for Tumbling.  The specialist research equipment includes an 18-camera motion analysis system, a force plate for vaulting takeoffs and landings, instrumented high bar and rings using force transducers.  Additionally there are 60” screens to provide 20 second delay video feedback on gymnast performances. 

Over the past 20 years there has been formal collaboration between Loughborough University and British Gymnastics, involving PhD research in gymnastics technique on the floor, vault, rings and high bar, as well as the design and delivery of biomechanics materials for coach education.

About the Sebastian Coe High Performance Athletics Centre

Opened in 2003, the High Performance Athletics Centre (HiPAC) provides a crucial all-weather training base for both Loughborough’s students and many of the country’s leading elite athletes.

One of UK Athletics’ national performance centres, it has an eight lane 135 metre sprint straight, long jump, high jump and pole vault areas, and javelin, hammer, shot and discus zones.

HiPAC is one of just two UK venues to have had a Mondo FX track installed, which will also be laid in the arena in East London for the 2012 Games, enabling Loughborough-based athletes to prepare on the same surface they could be competing on in forthcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games.

About the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

The School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences is dedicated to the study of sport, exercise, education, health and wellbeing across the lifespan, through the psychological, social and biological sciences.

It is an internationally-recognised centre of excellence.  In the latest Research Assessment Exercise, sports science at Loughborough was assessed as the best in the UK, and the Times Good University Guide 2010 rated the School 1st for Sport, 4th for Anatomy and Physiology and 8th for Psychology.

In 2002 the University received a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education  in recognition of its position as the country’s premier institution for sports development and its world-leading role in sports research and education.

About the Sports Technology Institute

Opened in 2008, the Sports Technology Institute was developed in partnership with the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) to boost enterprise in the sport and leisure sector and develop cutting-edge technology to assist the country’s elite athletes in their preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The Institute is home to the University’s internationally acclaimed Sports Technology Research Group. Over the last 20 years the Group has worked with some of the biggest names in the sporting goods industry, including adidas, Callaway Golf, Canterbury of New Zealand, Head, Umbro, New Balance, Nike, Reebok, Speedo and Sports World International (Dunlop Slazenger) on the design, simulation, testing and manufacture of sports equipment. Recent high profile projects include partnering adidas in the development and validation of their revolutionary 2010 and 2006 World Cup and EURO 2008 footballs; development of personalised football boots for premiership players, using state of the art rapid manufacturing technologies; and work with Nike and Umbro on next generation garments for England’s rugby and football teams respectively.

About Loughborough University

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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