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6 May 2011 | PR 11/51

New national institute to be based at SportPark

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The sports industry is celebrating the launch of a new professional development body, which has chosen to base itself at SportPark at Loughborough University.

The Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (IMSPA) was officially launched on 3 May 2011.

The new Institute represents the first unified voice for sport and physical activity tasked with providing leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in the sector.

Sean Holt, Chief Executive of IMSPA said:

“IMSPA will reach out to a wide range of people engaged in a variety of roles such as leisure centre managers, local development officers, coaches, health officers and governing body representatives.

“It is important to remember that what will define our members is not the role that they do but their ambition to develop their knowledge and skills to become celebrated leaders, deliverers and shapers of the sport and physical activity sector."

The new institute has been built on two successful historic mergers – firstly ILAM (Institute for Leisure and Amenity Management) with NASD (National Association for Sports Development), followed in early April by ISPAL (The Institute for Sport, Parks and Leisure) and ISRM (Institute of Sport and Recreation Management), paving the way for IMSPA.

The Institute enjoyed a double celebration at the launch, as it also confirmed that the new body has been granted Chartership accreditation by The Royal Privy Council, a first for sport.

Tim Garfield, Deputy Director of Sport at Loughborough University said:

Not only is the new institute good news for sport, it is also another important milestone for SportPark at Loughborough University. One of the ambitions of the SportPark project was to build on Loughborough’s reputation of being at the heart of sport.  Having for the first time ever, a consolidated professional institute with chartered status based there, further demonstrates the realising of this ambition.”

SportPark is a £15 million development that opened its doors in January 2010. It is home to many of the country's top sports governing bodies and national sports organisations.

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

1.   Home to many of the country's top sports governing bodies and national sports organisations, SportPark Loughborough University is a £15m development that opened its doors in January 2010 and is a brand new concept in sports working.

SportPark has been developed by Loughborough University and part-funded by emda, Sport England, Charnwood Borough Council and Leicestershire County Council, and is designed to support sports organisations as they strive to raise their game in achieving excellence in all that they do.

2.   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 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top 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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