Sir Dave Brailsford opens Sports Centre named in his honour

Sir Dave Brailsford visited Bangor University (5th November) to officially open Canolfan Brailsford, the newly refurbished Bangor University Sports Centre renamed in the successful cycling manager’s honour.

The Sport Centre, which reopened in advance of the new academic year, following an investment of £2.5 million, has been well received by students and public alike, following the year-long remodelling project.

The facilities now include a brand new two-storey gym, a new aerobics studio, a new sports café and the complete replacement and upgrade of the public changing rooms and showers, and a new floor in the main sports hall.

This is part of a wider investment in sports facilities at Bangor University which includes the new £.5 million indoor tennis and netball facility attached to Canolfan Brailsford and a third-generation artificial pitch at Bangor City FC’s ground at Nantporth, now home to both University student teams and a host of community clubs. 

A highlight of the event, for the student cycling club, was a q&a session for some of the University’s student athletes who had an opportunity to question Sir Dave Brailsford and pick up some useful training tips for their members!

Of his visit to Canolfan Brailsford, Sir Dave said:

“I came and walked into the Gym unannounced and had a little session. I’ve been to a lot of gyms around the world, and there’s a fantastic feeling in there, a real energy and buzz to it, the facilities were fantastic and that’s the acid test- does it feel like a place you want to come back to and train in again? And the answer is definitely yes. To see the way in which the facility has been developed, which has amalgamated old and new elements, is quite a feat of architecture and clever engineering because it feels like a homogenous sports centre, you wouldn’t know that there are older parts. It feels modern, the staff are very friendly and welcoming and it’s remarkably clean and that makes big difference.”

He said this of having a Sport Centre named in his honour: “I can’t believe it really- I’ve been lucky to receive a few honours over the years, but some of them are more personal and this is very personal and something which connects my life previously, I feel very passionate about this area so anything I can do to help this area or anyone who comes to visit this area, I’m all for. To be involved here is really touching.”

He added: “I think, growing up in this community, everybody realises that Bangor University has a special role to play within the local community. Despite not being academically involved, you can use the facilities, as kids we used to come here to play 5 a side football, we used to play cricket; you felt despite not being academically involved, there was something being given back to the community; in concerts and  theatrical performances being put on by the University world, which were just there- so you felt connected to the University as well.”

Richard Bennett, Sport and Recreation Director at Bangor University said:

“Playing sport plays an important role in developing leadership skills, while visiting the gym regularly can establish healthy exercise patterns for life.

“We’re pleased that the new Centre has been well received by the local community.

We are expanding our current offer of free clubs and societies for students, to include gym membership for all students living in University halls from Sept 2015.”

Pro Vice-Chancellor, Students Carol Tully commented: “We’re keen to offer our students an excellent all-round experience. This is one part of  a  multi-million pound investment by the University in developing new academic and social facilities for our students; making Bangor University an even more attractive place to study.”

Publication date: 6 November 2014