Following the commissioned Active Lifestyle and Sports
Strategy report by Strategic Leisure, completed in December 2012, the Project
Board identified a number of critical concerns. These included student dissatisfaction as a result of poor quality and a lack of key facilities, chiefly artificial pitches.
There was wide consultation with students and senior staff
by Strategic Leisure that highlighted consistent issues, needs and
opportunities that have been driving this project:
- A lack of capacity in the existing facilities; as student
numbers grow and more live on campus this issue will be exacerbated.
- Specific facility issues relate to the lack of any type of
all-weather pitch, the size of the gym, lack of access to a swimming pool, the
poor quality of the existing grass pitches (partly due to over use, but largely
due to poor drainage), and the need for additional indoor sport hall space.
- Whilst it is reasonable to expect a need for some off campus
provision, particularly of a specialist nature, at present College pays high
costs to hire external facilities for training and competition, along with
transport costs to get students there and back.
- The grant to the sports clubs of the Students Union is being
spent on external hire and transport instead of sport because there are
insufficient sports facilities of the right size, nature, and quality available
- The quality of existing facilities – particularly the gym,
aerobics studio and some of the grass pitches – is poor.
- There is a significant amount of external use of College
facilities, particularly the grass pitches, which exacerbates the issues of
capacity and quality in relation to student access and use. The revenue
received for this type of usage could easily be generated if College had its
own artificial pitches. Indeed, there is opportunity to increase revenue
through the provision of better quality facilities, which will be used by more
students, more regularly.
- Given the current low profile of sport in relation to other
aspects of College life, there is significant potential to market both the
participative opportunities better, and to raise the profile of sport amongst
the student population.
- There is significant opportunity to develop partnerships for
facility provision with Runnymede Council.