England Athletics is delighted to announce the first universities to be awarded its new Charter Mark. The successful institutions in this first wave are the University of Birmingham, which has been awarded a Gold Standard, Leeds Beckett University a Silver and Exeter Bronze.
The Charter Mark recognises the high standards of support being offered at these universities, including bursaries, excellent training facilities, highly qualified staff, high performance gyms, sports science support and pastoral guidance. Student athletes from all athletics events are supported and the university clubs offer a vibrant training and competitive environment. All three universities have developed relationships with local clubs, widening the opportunities on offer.
Lynne Duval, University Coordinator for England Athletics, said, “The transition to university life is a significant one which comes at an important stage of a young person’s athletic development. “While the athlete, along with people such as their parents and coach, have a range of factors that they should be considering when choosing a university we recognise that Charter Mark has an important role to play in helping to inform these decisions. We are fortunate that there are very good universities that can help athletes thrive in a student environment and want to congratulate the first three universities awarded Charter Mark status.”
- The University of Birmingham offers excellent training facilities, including a new athletics track opened in 2017. In addition to the high standard of coaching across all athletic disciplines, there are also acclimatization chambers and ice baths together with the opportunity for students to train at altitude. Birmingham offers the highest level of facilities and support for throws, jumps, speed and endurance students which enables England Athletics to have full confidence in recommending it and supporting athletics at the venue.
- Leeds Beckett University is also able to demonstrate excellent levels of support for their students with highly qualified coaches available across a wide range of events, including its national centre for walking. It excels in endurance, speed and jumps events and England athletics already work closely with them for training camps and get togethers. Facilities are excellent throughout the university and we will be working with them through 2019 on various programmes.
- Exeter University has established itself as a welcoming and increasingly successful athletics environment in recent years. Accessing high quality university facilities, the university works with coaches and local clubs to provide training and competitive opportunities and its ambitions are evident in the fact that its hosting the BUCS cross country championships in 2019. The campus offers parkland for endurance running and new state of the art facilities for conditioning and indoor work.
England Athletics is delighted to be working with key universities to signpost athletes, parents and coaches to quality assured provision. For those athletes looking to maintain a dual career pathway, Charter Mark universities offer strong opportunities and we’re looking forward to developing stronger working relationship with these universities over the coming year.