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Queen Mary sports clubs to train at Copper Box Arena

Wednesday 28 August 2013

From September 2013, Queen Mary students will have access to state-of-the-art sports facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, just 10 minutes by tube from the Mile End campus.

Inspired by London 2012, Queen Mary Students’ Union (QMSU) has seized the prestigious and exciting opportunity for Club Sport student members to train and compete at the 7,000 seat Copper Box Arena during the 2013/2014 season.

The Union is also expecting to secure regular reservations at the Aquatic Centre’s swimming pool upon its re-opening in April 2014, providing extra training space for the university’s swimming and waterpolo teams, as well as creating opportunities for recreational use, and access for staff.

The Copper Box Arena - which is now managed by charitable social enterprise GLL - is the third largest indoor arena in the capital, and hosted handball, modern pentathlon and Paralympic goal ball during the London 2012 Games. It has been transformed into a multi-use sports centre for the public, with events set to include community and international competitions.

Clubs including QMSU’s badminton, basketball, volleyball, cheerleading, netball and tennis teams are all expected to benefit from access to the facility, while the Copper Box Arena’s new high-specification gym space will compliment Queen Mary’s own QMotion gym and fitness studios at Mile End.

Mike Wojcik, QMSU CEO comments: “Developing our Sports Strategy with the university a couple of years ago, combined with major capital investment in campus fitness facilities has led to impressive growth and diversification in the provision of sport and fitness. This has been matched by a huge increase in participation. Gym membership at Queen Mary peaked at 3,500 and we now support 64 Club Sport teams with over 1,750 members.

“The number of students taking part in the Sport England sponsored Get Active recreational sessions has also doubled in the past year. These successes and capacity challenges, plus the desire to further improve the student experience and development of sport has led us into discussions with GLL, the provider of sporting opportunities to east London and a natural partner to our university.”  

Sarah Sarwar, QMSU President adds: “QMSU students will benefit greatly from this new and exciting initiative. We are so pleased that our student clubs will now be able to enjoy priority access to such a fantastic world class Olympic venue and I’m sure students will be thrilled to use such facilities.

“Here at QMSU we have a deep commitment to developing innovative and inspiring initiatives to strengthen the wider community. We look forward to working with GLL on volunteering, sports coaching and a whole variety of projects and initiatives that will make our sporting community even stronger.”

QMSU with generous support from the 2013 Queen Mary Annual Fund has also secured the Copper Box venue for an event which will take place during the ‘Fresher’s period’ at the start of the 2013/14 Autumn semester. The launch and awareness event will include Club Sport talent showcases, combined with fun activities from Get Active, the Union’s recreational sport programme, and displays linked to community volunteering and social enterprise initiatives.

For more information about QMSU sport and fitness, visit http://www.qmsu.org/sportandfitness/

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