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Public Health minister full of praise for SportPark

26 March 2010

Hot on the heels of picking up two regional construction awards, Loughborough University’s SportPark has been named ‘the place to be’ for sporting organisations looking to be at the sharp end of developing sport in the UK.

The building was visited on Thursday (25 March) by MP for Lincolnshire and Minister for Public Health Gillian Merron, together with MP for Loughborough Andy Reed.

The pair were accompanied on a tour of the facility by the University’s Deputy Director of Sport Operations Tim Garfield as they met staff from several of the tenants, who spoke in glowing terms on the benefits their presence in the building has already produced.

The construction of the building encourages staff from the various national governing bodies and sporting organisations to mix in the communal café area on the ground floor, where several new partnerships and ideas have resulted from this integrated environment.

Ms Merron said: "SportPark is positively buzzing. I can tell from talking to people but also looking and feeling what it’s like, that by bringing people together, it’s creating excitement and activity between the different sports that couldn’t have happened otherwise."

The building has also provided opportunities for sport and physical activity to become an integral part of the daily culture at SportPark. Dedicated spaces include an activity lawn, an energy track with innovative bespoke training stations and pitch markings on one of the car parks to encourage out of hours team sports. On the day of the Ministers visit the SportPark running club had a dozen participants and lunchtime pilates is proving hugely popular with tenants, with classes full and the number doubling within four weeks of starting.

Ms Merron added: "The sort of work that’s going on at Loughborough University is an example not just to this sector but many others. I’m interested in improving people’s health and SportPark is going to make a huge contribution to that. SportPark really is the place to be."

Tim Garfield was delighted with the minster’s enthusiasm for the project: "To see the reaction of the minister to the vibrant atmosphere this building has helped to create really rubber stamps what we wanted to achieve through SportPark.

"The idea was that it should be so much more than just office space and we are already seeing that the bodies in here have bought into that ethos and are starting to make the most of the opportunities being based here affords them, both in terms of the knowledge sharing and the benefits to the lifestyles of their employees."

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