As the number one destination in the UK for education news and campus updates, Young Academic can bring you a fascinating report from the University of East London (UEL). With one year to go today until the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games the University of East London continues to demonstrate that it is going that extra mile, as the Olympic boroughs’ key higher education provider.
Since London’s winning Olympic bid was first announced, UEL has revolutionised its sporting programme and is now staking a serious claim to become London’s number one sports university within the next four years.
Only last week, UEL was presented with the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) ‘Most Improved University in Sport’ award, in recognition of the fact that the University had nearly doubled its overall score on the previous year and jumped up the BUCS league table by a huge 43 places.
The University also recently awarded its inaugural sports scholarships to 24 of its top-flight sports stars, from cricketers to taekwondo champions, all of whom compete nationally or internationally in their chosen sport.
At the same time, the landmark SportsDock is set to open at the beginning of next year on the Docklands Campus. The centre will provide a host of facilities, including a multi-use games area, two large multi-court sports halls, a state-of-the-art gym, a high-performance strength and conditioning centre, 3G football pitches, a dance studio, a sports cafe and social areas. The SportsDock will be open year-round for use by the local community, too.
Preparations have begun in earnest for the arrival of Team USA next year, both their Olympic and Paralympic teams will be using UEL facilities as their base for athlete performance services and logistical operations during the Games. UEL will also be welcoming up to 750 media representatives from China this time next year.
The Olympic Park Legacy Company has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with UEL to explore a range of community, education and enterprise activities with the aim of offering new opportunities for local residents and businesses after the Games, while the University is also involved in the Cultural Olympiad.
UEL Vice-Chancellor, Professor Patrick McGhee, said: “There is no doubt that come July next year, UEL will be positioned as a key player in the Olympic and Paralympic infrastructure. As East London’s largest higher education provider, there will always have been an expectation that we would be involved in the Games on some level. However, the University has gone so much further than merely being involved – we have embraced everything that this opportunity offers.”
“Our flagship SportsDock is the most visual example of our commitment to sport but there is so much else we are doing, from our sports scholarships to our work with the Olympic Park Legacy company to initiatives such as the one early this summer, which provided sports wheelchairs to communities across the Olympic boroughs.”
“When the United States Olympic and Paralympic teams arrive on campus this time next year, they will find an institution going for gold with the same dedication and intent as their own athletes.”