Lord Coe opens Institute of Sport facilities

November 12, 2008

The chairman of London 2012 said: “Opening the University of Ulster’s new sports centre is a hugely exciting opportunity.

The 6000 sq metre sports facility  has already shown its international pedigree as a training venue for Irish Olympic boxing bronze medallist Paddy Barnes, Paralympic gold medallists Michael McKillop and Jason Smyth, and representative teams at all age levels across all sports.

The facility, which is jointly funded by the University of Ulster and Sport Northern Ireland’s Lottery Fund, is home to the Sports Institute Northern Ireland.

Facilities on the campus, which was finished in December 2007 and took 19 months to build, include a 60 metres indoor track, a 110m outdoor sprint track, floodlit synthetic areas and a physiotherapy and sports science area.

Coe said: “It’s as good as anywhere in the world, it’s remarkable.

“I also think with the right marketing and push this is a prime location for individuals, national Olympic committees, international federations for basing their competitors.”

University of Ulster Vice-Chancellor Professor Richard Barnett said:

“The development of the multi-million pound centre has once again shown the University’s commitment to developing its vision of becoming the leading university for sport on the island of Ireland.

“We are so proud of all our Olympic and Paralympic medal winners achievements at the 2008 Games in Beijing and I am confident that their performances and their successes will inspire many people to participate in physical activity and sport.”  

OCI Chief Executive Stephen Martin and a former graduate of the University of Ulster was also a special guest at the launch, he said ” whilst the service provision by the Institute staff started a number of years ago, the facilities and work enviroment is now at a world class level. National Federations and Institute staff must continue to work together to find the best working relationship and develop systems that will produce a critical mass of world class athletes on a consistent basis.”

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