Sir Christian Bonington, famed mountaineer and Chancellor of the University, said there was “no excuse” not to retain the Carter James trophy this year while recently visiting Lancaster to inspect building work for the new Sports Centre.
Bonington, who has been on nineteen expeditions to the Himalayas including four to Mount Everest, told SCAN that the Sports Centre “looks brilliant in every kind of way. Of course, I am particularly interested in the climbing wall and it looks as if it’s going to be great.”
He talked of the importance of Universities such as Lancaster having facilities like the new Centre, which will replace the old site that has been open since 1967. “I think sport in all its different aspects is an incredibly important kind of release extension to the hard grinding work of actually getting a degree.”
[pull name=”Marc Handley” title=”LUSU Vice President for Sports”]Consultation will need to be widened to not just students, but staff of the university as well, including members of the public too[/pull]
“I think it is good for the university to be good at sport and feel good about sport. I think it is very important as well to win Roses consistently – once we have this we have no excuse for not winning!”
Bonington reserved particular praise for the state of the art climbing wall and stressed the importance of input from the Lancaster University Climbing Club throughout the building work. He told SCAN: “it’s absolutely vital that the Climbing Club is involved and that real climbers are involved. I think the ideal situation is where initially the actual [professionals] will design the wall but even at that stage it is very important the Climbing Club is involved as well.”
He added: “a good climbing wall is one where you change the routes regularly and it is very important that the University Climbing Club is involved in that.”
LUSU Vice President Sports Marc Handley welcomed Bonington’s comments. He said: “it is extremely important that the students, who are some of the main users of the new facility, are consulted and asked to put forward any recommendations with regards to the new Sports Centre. I know the Climbing Club and Sir Chris had some input when the first designs of the wall were given to them to look at, so much input in fact that Sir Chris actually said that the plans weren’t good enough for the wall and so new plans were drawn up – and are the ones that are being implemented.”
“What we do need to bear in mind too though is that fact that it is not only students who are to use this new facility when it is built, so consultation will need to be widened to not just students, but staff of the university as well, including members of the public too.”
The new Sports Centre is costing £20 million and is expected to open in 2011. Features include a swimming pool with a moveable floor, a 10m high climbing wall and a 90 station gym.