The Vic Ambler Golf Centre was one of the many developments at the Sports Park this summer.

Sports Park improvements welcome returning students

Following the completion of the Russell Seal Fitness Centre in September last year, it’s been another summer of change up at the Sports Park.

A number of new developments have taken place ready for the start of term including the creation of the Vic Ambler Golf Centre, refurbishment of the Athlete Development Centre and improvement works to the Sports Hall, outdoor swimming pool and rubber crumb pitch.

The Vic Ambler Golf Centre is the most visible of the changes. The all-weather playing facility features two practice greens, driving nets and an eco-bunker.

As well as acting as the main training area for the student golf club, the Centre will also be available for recreational golfers and lessons.

High Performance Golf Manager Craig Townsend said: “This year is a really exciting one for golf at Exeter. We’re fielding five golf teams this year, and the Golf Centre will allow us to coordinate different areas of training and practice much more easily.

Aside from the Golf Club, we are also really hopeful that the Centre will break down some of the traditional barriers to students playing golf. We’ll be running lots of initiatives throughout the year to get as many students playing as possible.”

Another big change has been the re-development of the University’s High Performance Gym.

The (formally known as the High Performance Unit), caters for the University’s elite student squads and athletes. The Centre has benefitted from a new drop-rated floor, Myothrustas, Watt bikes, Olympic plates and re-conditioned equipment.

Strength and Conditioning Coach Wayne Pattinson said: “The change has been fantastic. We now have more resources which enable us to have the freedom to vary and specialise our programmes even further.

“All of our high performance squads have now returned for pre-season and the atmosphere is really positive, the refurb has made it a much more professional training environment.

“We have no doubt that the improved facilities will have a positive impact on all of the performance squads that we work with in the run up to BUCS.”

Other developments this summer have included the addition of new pool-side changing facilities at the Cornwall House Outdoor pool and improvements to the Sports Hall roof. The Rubber Crumb pitch has also been resurfaced, and equipped with permanent rugby posts and markings.

Assistant Director of Sport Neil Sheppard said: “We are continually striving to improve our facilities so that all of our athletes and customers have the best possible environments in which to train and compete.

“Over £600,000 has been invested in sport this summer to this end, and we are once again delighted with the outcomes. We are looking forward to welcoming the students back and seeing these changes being enjoyed to their fullest extent.”

Further information on sport at Exeter and memberships can be found on the University of Exeter Sport website or by contacting the Sports Park on 01392 724452.

Date: 15 September 2014