Our new, state-of-the-art sports centre will sit on the corner of Bristol Road and Edgbaston Park Road, and will be a gateway to the University for students, staff and our local community. The £55m centre will encompass a unique raft of facilities, including Birmingham’s only 50m swimming pool, as well as a large multi-sport hall, a range of activity and fitness studios, a very extensive gym, six glass-backed squash courts and various other facilities. The centre will open its doors in early 2016.
The centre will underline the University of Birmingham’s commitment to sport at all levels. It will be a home for our many sports clubs, allowing them to train and compete at the highest level. UB Sport consistently finishes in the top three of British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) league where our sport teams compete with over 165 UK institutions.
It will include a new home for the University’sHi Performance Centre, providing specialist facilities, expertise and support under one roof to sportsmen and women in the University, city and region. It will help our committed amateur sportspeople to improve their performance, and our most talented to win medals on the global stage.
But at Birmingham we believe sport is for all, and from absolute beginner to world-class athlete, UB Sport offers a range of opportunities for everyone to get involved with – which the new centre will allow us to expand even further.
In addition to students and student sports clubs, it will cater for around 3,000 community and alumni members, as well as more casual pay as you go users, community clubs and groups. The centre will offer a wide range of programmes and classes, including a choice of up to 200 fitness and sports classes and an expanded learn to swim programme for all ages. It will be an important centre for community health and well-being, and substantial effort has been made to ensure all facilities are as accessible as possible for those with disabilities, injuries or other specific access requirements.
In fact, the centre will specialise in rehabilitation from injury and illness, as well as meeting the fitness needs of competitive sports players, and the gym will be one of the most extensive and advanced in the country thanks to both the quality and range of equipment but also the supporting expertise.
Alongside construction, we have launched our Name of the Game campaign so that everyone can get involved, by voting for a sporting hero to name the gym after – either Paralympian swimmer Ellie Simmonds, Ironman Champion and graduate of the University Chrissie Wellington, or Test Cricketer Gladstone Small.