The new Brownlee Centre
A new £5m University of Leeds sports facility is to be named after its most successful alumni athletes, Olympic heroes Alistair and Jonny Brownlee.
The Brownlee Centre sits alongside a new 1 mile (1.6km) cycle circuit one of the longest in the country at the Universitys Bodington playing fields in north Leeds.
The unique centre, which opens in April 2017, is the UKs first purpose-built triathlon training base and will provide the first permanent home for the world-class Leeds Triathlon Centre.
Combining a strength and conditioning training suite, physiotherapy, medical and other support services, this new development will enhance facilities for both cycling and triathlon in the region.
Partnership funding from Sport England, UK Sport, British Cycling and British Triathlon is contributing £1million to the project, with the remaining funding provided by the University.
This is a real honour, said Alistair Brownlee. Having the UKs first purpose-built triathlon centre in Leeds will ensure that the city continues to be a hub for triathlon.
It brings together the facilities top athletes need in one place to create a world class training environment.
"It is a real boost for both participation and elite sport in the area and will hopefully help the next generation of Leeds athletes on their journey to Olympic success
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: We cant wait to bring our bikes up here and try it. The track is a great addition to Yorkshires cycling facilities and will benefit cyclists and other sportsmen and women of all abilities.
Were both really pleased to continue our relationship with the University and I hope that what weve achieved can inspire everyone who uses the facilities to try their hardest, whether its in competitive sport or in building confidence on two wheels.
Vice-Chancellor Sir Alan Langlands said: The University is extremely proud of Alistair and Jonnys achievements and it is fitting that this unique world-class facility, which will inspire thousands of people to be more active, is to be named after two of our most successful sportsmen.
Our graduates have dominated top level triathlon and cycling at various events, an achievement which everyone in Leeds can be proud of.
"Opening The Brownlee Centre and new cycle circuit reinforces our vision of becoming the number one provider of higher education sport and physical activity experience in the UK.
At last years Rio 2016 Olympic Games, all three of the mens triathlon team were Leeds alumni, with Gordon Benson joining the medal-winning Brownlee brothers.
The University is one of the UKs leading sports institutions, with the Brownlees following in the footsteps of a number of Olympic champions.
The 6 metre-wide cycle circuit will provide a traffic-free environment for cyclists of all ages and abilities including University students, staff and the wider community for recreation, coaching and competition.
The site will also continue to be used for grass sports including football and rugby. The next phase of development will see three additional grass pitches, with work scheduled for completion in September 2017.
The University has invested over £25m in new sports facilities over the past 10 years and these 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.Posted in: University news