Brownlee brothers take to saddle to launch University’s £5m cycling and triathlon facility
Our new £5m sports facility launches this week, named after our most successful sporting alumni.
The Brownlee Centre - the name chosen in honour of Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny - sits alongside a new one-mile (1.6km) cycle circuit at the Universitys Bodington Playing Fields in north Leeds.
The brothers will officially launch the centre and cycle circuit on Friday [28 April]. The facilities, open to sports enthusiasts of all ages and abilities, will be available to use from Tuesday 2 May and include changing rooms and a café.
The circuit has a full programme of activity including pay and pedal, HSBC UK Breeze Rides for women and girls and special training sessions for elite athletes, University and local clubs. Bikes for children and adults are available to hire, along with hand cycles, trikes and tandems for use by riders with disabilities.
Partnership funding from British Cycling, British Triathlon and others is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.
It will also be a new National Elite Training Centre for Triathlon, home to Leeds Triathlon Centre. The UKs first purpose-built triathlon training base, it will combine a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services, to provide world-class facilities to enhance triathlon training in the region.
Alistair said: This day marks a great day for cycling in Yorkshire. The start of the Tour de Yorkshire builds on a fantastic legacy and, thanks to these new facilities, Leeds continues to be a real centre for excellence when it comes to cycling and triathlon.
Alistair studied sports science and physiology at Leeds and won gold in the triathlon competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
His brother Jonny, a Leeds history graduate who took silver in August, added: A big thanks to the University and all of the supporters, because this centre and circuit will inspire everyone, from beginners through to elite athletes.
Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said: We are very proud of the Brownlee brothers achievements and its an honour to have these brand new facilities named after two of our most successful sporting alumni.
The Brownlee Centre and the new cycle circuit offers students, staff and the wider cycling and triathlon community a truly inspiring, world-class training facility. It rightly puts the University of Leeds at the forefront of providing one of the best sport and physical activity environments in the UK. It also builds on the excellent cycling legacy provided by Welcome to Yorkshires leadership in securing the Tour de Frances Grand Depart in 2014.
Suzanne Glavin, Head of Sport and Physical Activity, said: We really value our continuing relationship with the Brownlees. The dedication and commitment they demonstrate through regular training sessions on campus and their continued global success really inspires our students and staff.
They enable us to showcase to students how we can tailor degrees to allow athletes to train and compete at the highest level.
The University has invested more than £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years and the latest improvements complement nearby Sports Park Weetwood, the Universitys flagship 100-acre facility used by students and members of the community for hockey, football, rugby, cricket, lacrosse, American football and more.
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