Surrey Sports Park celebrates five-year anniversary
Anniversary celebrations are underway at Surrey Sports Park to mark five years since the park first opened its doors.
Surrey Sports Park, the University of Surrey’s multi-million pound sporting facility, has celebrated its five-year anniversary – during which time it has welcomed over five million visitors, providing world-class sports facilities, activities and events to university students, staff, elite teams, athletes and the local community.
Now established as a renowned sporting events venue, Surrey Sports Park was an official London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Training Base, which saw it host 17 nations for training camps, as well as becoming a regular home to Harlequins Rugby Union, Surrey Storm Netball, Surrey United Basketball, Surrey Smashers Badminton and Guildford City Swimming Club.
Other visitors to the Park have included the England men’s and women’s rugby squads, England Cricket, Great Britain Women’s Basketball, England Netball, Swansea City FC, Samoa Rugby, Ben Ainslie, Denise Lewis, Louis Smith, Ellie Simmonds, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee, Sir Viv Richards and Zinedine Zidane.
Among the international events hosted at Surrey Sports Park have been the 2010 Women’s Rugby World Cup, 2013 Danone Nations Cups and the inaugural Paralympics GB SportsFest.
Surrey Sports Park has also brought a wealth of sporting opportunities to the local community, with 8,500 young children taking part in holiday sports camps and 3,000 youngsters learning to swim in its 50m swimming pool. As a major partner and sponsor, it has also hosted five consecutive Surrey Youth Games, featuring 475 local primary and secondary schools.
Since opening the £36million investment in 2010, the University of Surrey has risen to joint 2nd place for ‘good sport facilities’ in the Times Higher Education Student Experience Survey 2015. The same period has also seen Team Surrey rise 43 places to 32nd in the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) League table.
Surrey Sports Park Chief Executive, Paul Blanchard, said: “The last five years has been an incredible journey for everyone involved with Surrey Sports Park. The University of Surrey’s vision and investment has truly come to fruition as the park has and continues to inspire and support the sporting ambitions of all users, from world-class athletes to grassroots beginners.”
In summer 2015, Surrey Sports Park will benefit from a £500,000 upgrade to its Health and Fitness Centre, while September will see the facility host Italy and Ireland as an approved Rugby World Cup 2015 Team Base.