Durham Uni Opens New £6.7 Million Sport Centre
21 February 2012, 09:22
Sports Minister Hugh Robertson will open the new centre - which includes a £1 million indoor rowing tank.
The rowing tank's one of only three in the UK and the first in the North of England.
It also has a new purpose-built boat house, with coaching led by former Great Britain Olympic rower, Wade Hall-Craggs.
The tank, used to teach the art of sculling and crew skills, is designed to simulate the movement and feel of a boat through water - with the speed flow of the water adjusted electronically to give any speeds up to three metres per second.
The new facility also includes the only international standard fencing specific facility in the UK.
The centre at Maiden Castle, supported by a £500k grant from Sport England's Iconic Facilities fund, has been built as part of the London 2012 sporting legacy for the University and the North of England.
Students, staff and the general public can use the equipment.
Other features of the Maiden Castle facility include:
* An extended sports hall allowing for increased indoor cricket provision with a variety of practice surfaces and a range of bowling machines
* A performance analysis suite so athletes can monitor and improve their technique
* Three dedicated physiotherapy treatment rooms
* A multi-purpose dance studio and x-bike training room
* A rowing 'Ergo' gallery housing 28 stations - each is used to simulate the action of watercraft rowing for the purpose of exercise or training.
Durham University are hosting the Sri Lankan Olympic badminton team for training and acclimatisation ahead of the 2012 Games.
Graduates of the University who have gone on to do well in sport include;
* Olympic gold medallist and triple jumper, Jonathan Edwards
* Rower and Olympic bronze medallist, Steve Rowbotham
* Current England cricket captain Andrew Strauss and former captain Nasser Hussain
* Will Carling, who was the youngest England rugby captain at 22.
The Vice-Chancellor of Durham University, Professor Chris Higgins, said:
"This is another monumental year for sporting achievement at Durham University and we are immensely proud to be able to contribute to the sporting legacy of the Olympics 2012 through the opening of these new facilities.
Durham University's recent investment in sports facilities on its two campuses totals more than £13m. A new £5.5m sports centre was opened in 2010 at the University's Queen's Campus in Stockton, with badminton, basketball, volleyball and netball courts, a dance studio and rowing room."