Boxing star opens new £5m college sports centre

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Former world champion boxer Barry McGuigan officially opened East Berkshire College’s new multi-million pound Sports Centre at Langley College on Tuesday (14th May 2013).

The boxing legend performed the official ribbon cutting ceremony along with College Principal Kate Webb and Chair of Governors, Tony Dixon. As well as welcoming visitors to the new £5 million Sports Centre, Barry kindly made time to sign autographs, answer questions and provide advice to budding young boxers.

Visitors to the event were able to check out the brand new facilities, watch demonstrations, meet the coaches, find out more about the College’s Sports Academy and meet a sporting legend. A variety of activities were running throughout the event to showcase the facilities including a five-a-side football tournament, street-dance class and a series of dynamic boxing demonstrations. School children from Langley Hall Primary Academy also took part in a special football skills session, which was delivered by sports students from the College’s coaching course.

Barry McGuigan said: “I’m excited to be able to open East Berkshire College’s new Sports Centre. The College is doing some great work here and the new facilities will enable more young people in this area to get involved in sports like boxing.

““In these challenging times, there is an even greater need to give young people the belief and a vision to succeed. I was given a chance through sport to fulfil my potential as I grew up, and I want through programmes like the Barry McGuigan Boxing Academy to give others that chance.”

The new Sports Centre is part of East Berkshire College’s £16m improvement project at its Langley College. The centre features a multi-purpose sports hall, a gym, dance studio, boxing gym, sports science lab and changing rooms. As well as meeting the needs of the College’s successful Sports Academy, the new facility will also provide the local community with public use of new sports amenities from September 2013. DSC 5468press

Simon East, Sports Academy Manager at East Berkshire College, explained: “This new state-of-the-art facility marks a significant investment by the College and one that will benefit students, staff and the wider community. We aim to provide students with an all-round education to enable them to achieve both their academic and sporting ambitions. Not only will the new sports centre provide top-class facilities in which our students can develop their skills, but we hope it will increase participation in sport among those of all ages in the local community.”

Student Nicole Brown, who is studying an Activity and Leadership Level 2 course at the College, added: “The new facilities are fantastic. There has been a real buzz about the opening event and having Barry McGuigan here was a real inspiration for everyone.”

East Berkshire College is the only college in the south-east to offer a Boxing Academy written and approved by Mr McGuigan himself. It offers young people the chance to study for a nationally recognised qualification whilst training to an elite level alongside professional coaches. The programme, which is approved by the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA), is open to males and females aged 16-19 who enrol on any full-time course at the College.

The College is fast becoming a centre of excellence for sport offering specialist programmes in sports such as football, rugby and boxing. Combining education and sporting excellence, the Sports Academy offers males and females the chance to study a full-time course whilst training to an elite level alongside professional coaches.

Over the years, East Berkshire College has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and enhancing its range of courses. In February 2013, Ofsted rated the College as ‘good’ with outstanding features following a week-long inspection. Alongside other key strengths, the report recognised the real difference the College makes to the lives of its students in terms of their progress, success and employability. EBC 5759 710px web

For more information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 800 courses, please call 0845 373 2500.

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