29 November 2002

PR 02/92

Paula Radcliffe opens Beckwith Centre for Sport

Paula Radcliffe MBE is to open the Sir John Beckwith Centre for Sport at Loughborough University on Tuesday 3 December at 12.30 pm.

The new Centre for Sport brings together under one roof a wide range of key sporting organisations, enabling them to work together to further the development of sport in this country.

The realisation of the £3 million Centre for Sport is due in no small part to the generosity of Sir John Beckwith, a businessman dedicated to improving sporting opportunities for young people and who, in 1994, set up the Youth Sport Trust, with the vision of providing all young people with a quality introduction to sport.

A reception will take place on the new premises at 12.00 noon on 3 December followed by the official proceedings at 12.30 pm. The Vice-Chancellor of Loughborough University, Professor David Wallace CBE, FRS, will invite Paula to unveil a plaque.

The Sir John Beckwith Centre for Sport is already attracting experts from a range of sports disciplines. Housing the University Sports Development Centre and School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, together with the Youth Sport Trust, it will host visiting international sport professionals and academics and serve as a hub for sports research, training and development.

It will encourage communication between professional sportspeople and bring together the existing expertise of Loughborough’s world renowned sports science and sports medicine facilities, sports governing bodies and sports management organisations. The Centre will have an emphasis on developing opportunities for young people through sport.

“It could not be more appropriate to have Paula marking this event for us today”, says Professor David Wallace. “Not only is she a graduate from this University and an active Patron of the Youth Sport Trust, but she represents the qualities of a remarkable sportsperson – a first class student, an elite athlete and a role model for others.”

“I am very pleased to see this project come to fruition,” says Sir John. “It started as a dream and it is most satisfying to see it completed and up and running today. Sport is an excellent vehicle for young people whatever their level of ability. It develops confidence and self-esteem and the values that make them responsible members of the community. There are also many talented young sportspeople in the UK who I hope will be able to reap the benefits of this new Centre. It has been my wish throughout to develop talent and provide a framework which will allow them to compete and thrive among the best in the world.”

Chelsea-based architects Hamilton Associates designed the new building, which incorporates a triple height reception area and a lecture theatre to accommodate a busy international conference agenda.

– Ends –

For further information:

  • Patricia Orr, Third Sector PR, T. 020 7222 5510 M. 07958 558172
  • Anna Windmill, Youth Sport Trust, T. 020 7388 4436 M. 07799 418994
  • Hannah Baldwin, Loughborough University, T. 01509 222239 M. 07971 163522
  • Denise Tyler or Simon Davis, Vision Sports PR, T. 01273 670003

Notes to editors

  1. News media and photographers are welcome to attend. For a programme, guest list and further details, please contact the numbers above.

  2. Spokespeople from the Youth Sport Trust and Loughborough University are available for interview.

  3. Sir John Beckwith CBE is Founder and Chairman of the Youth Sport Trust. The Youth Sport Trust is a registered charity established in 1994 to build a brighter future for young people through sport. Its mission is to develop and implement, in close partnership with other organisations, quality physical education and sport programmes for all young people aged 18 months to 18 years in schools and their communities.

  4. Loughborough is the UK’s leading university for sport. The quality of its facilities – already among the most extensive in Britain – coupled with its coaching expertise and long-standing partnerships with numerous national sports bodies, is reflected in Loughborough’s selection as a National Network Centre of the English Institute of Sport. Its academic reputation for sport – marked by pioneering research, first-class teaching and extensive international collaboration – is acknowledged worldwide. In recognition of this excellence in sport, Loughborough was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in November, for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.



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S.P.Rowbottom@lboro.ac.uk, November 2002 Copyright © Loughborough University Publicity Office. All rights reserved.