Secretary of State praises ‘first rate facility’

23rd October 2008

Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, described the University of Bath’s Sports Training Village as a ‘first rate facility’ during a visit to state-of-the-art sports complex today (Thursday).
The Secretary of State toured the Sports Training Village with Ged Roddy, director of sport at the University of Bath. They were accompanied by Bath MP Don Foster, Brian Ashton, director of coaching at the University of Bath, and sprinter Ben Rushgrove, a University of Bath student who won a silver medal at the Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
During the tour they saw some of the impressive facilities at the Sports Training Village, including the judo dojo, 50m pool, indoor running straight, fitness suite and the modern pentathlon shooting and fencing areas.
The Secretary of State also took the opportunity to chat to coaches and athletes based at the University. He even had time for a spot of shuttlecock diplomacy, taking to the badminton court to partner England starlet Mariana Agathangelou in a quick game against Bath MP Don Foster and TeamBath badminton head coach Pete Bush.
Afterwards the Secretary of State was clearly impressed by what he had seen. “This is a first rate facility,” he said. “It’s so good to have all the sports together and to have people from different sports mixing and sharing ideas.
“They’ve got a top drawer team here, which means the university will go from strength to strength.”
He said sport and an active lifestyle can play important roles in people’s lives.

“Sport gives you confidence and can boost your self-esteem. It can stand you in good stead throughout your life,” he said.
Ged Roddy, director of sport at the University of Bath, said he was delighted to host the tour.

“We’re at the beginning of the four-year preparation for London 2012, so it was really important that the person in charge of sport in this country came to see one of the key venues in this country where the Olympic and Paralympic effort is being realised,” he said.
“The Secretary of State was inspiring, and I hope he was inspired by the coaches and athletes he met.”
The University of Bath has one of the leading university sports departments in the UK. Under its TeamBath brand, its success is based on the expertise and dedication of staff, and its excellent facilities, used by the community and Olympic medal winners alike.