New £30m Edge Hill Sports Centre opens

Sporting icons Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Steve Cram cut the ribbon at the new facilities.

A brand new Sports Centre and eight-lane track has been opened at Edge Hill University, by Olympians Katarina Johnson-Thompson and Steve Cram.

The state-of-the-art Sports Centre building houses an eight-court sports hall with viewing gallery for basketball, netball, badminton, five-a-side football and general sports use, a 25-metre swimming pool, an 80-station fitness suite, aerobics studio, health suite with sauna and steam rooms, a café and lounge area.

The international competition standard outdoor facilities include one of the largest running tracks in Europe, rugby, hockey and football pitches, an athletics field, netball and tennis courts and a ‘trim trail’ with exercise stations.

The Sports Centre is open to the public as well as providing first rate facilities for students.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson unveiled a commemorative plaque at the centre alongside philanthropist and entrepreneur Barrie Wells, who has sponsored her throughout her career.

Katarina says: “I’ve been to Edge Hill a number of times, including with a group of schoolchildren and also to see my sponsor Barrie Wells be awarded an Honorary Degree by the University. It’s fantastic to be back today for the opening of this amazing facility. It’s an honour to be here, and I’d like to thank Edge Hill for having me!”

Former world champion and Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram opened the inaugural event at Edge Hill University’s new running track.

The running track is on par with the biggest running tracks in the UK, excluding the London Olympic stadium, and one of the largest in Europe.

Steve, who received a CBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the eight-lane floodlit competition standard track.

He then led skills-based coaching sessions with students from St Bede’s Catholic High School, assisted by Edge Hill PE students.

Earlier in the day, Steve gave a keynote speech on the psychology of success to leading business people in Merseyside, in partnership with Professional Liverpool, at the Radisson Blu Hotel.

Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University, says: “It is an honour to have celebrated athlete Steve Cram visit our brand new running track – one of the biggest in the UK and Europe – and to show him the international competition standard facilities our Sports Centre has to offer. I know students and staff will be inspired to hear his talk and benefit from his expertise.”

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