Varsity contests launch Greenwich’s super sports pitches
A £1.7 million investment in sports began to pay off as the University of Greenwich unveiled its state-of-the-art sports pitches in a ceremony at its Avery Hill Campus on Wednesday 29 March
LtoR: Councillor Peter Brooks / Kani Hinshelwood, Team Greenwich Exec Committee / Jason Turner, Chair of the Sports Board / Stephen Howlett, Chair of the Court of Governors / Louis Hale, Vice-President Sports and Activities, Students’ Union / Professor David Maguire, Vice-Chancellor / Councillor Denise Hyland / Laurence Everitt, Northern Trust
The floodlit, all-weather, 3G pitches are now a home for the university’s various sports teams – including rugby, football, hockey, American football and lacrosse – and will host nearly 70 competitive matches and many more recreational games throughout the coming year.
The launch of the new pitches saw students compete in the university’s biggest sporting event of the year, its annual ‘Varsity’ competition.
Students from Team Greenwich and Team Medway battled it out across nine games in various competitions, including netball, men’s and women’s basketball, badminton and football.
Team Greenwich achieved overall victory on the day – and campus bragging rights for the next 12 months.
The launch event was attended by university staff, students, friends and alumni, as well as by local schools and colleges, representatives from the community and key university partners including Northern Trust, Charlton Athletic FC, Charlton Athletic Community Trust and Blackheath Rugby Club.
Professor David Maguire, the university’s Vice-Chancellor, said that the university is committed to continuous, long-term investment in sports, with the new pitches marking just the start of its sports strategy.
“Sport is an important part of what we are about as a university, and is a fundamental part of our tradition and history,” he said.
Louis Hale, the Student Union’s Vice-President for Sports and Activities, added: “Our mission is to empower students to have life-changing experiences, and today we are taking a massive step towards fulfilling that goal.
“These new pitches have already brought fresh opportunities, and we are seeing an increase in student sports participation across the board. Our sports facilities will be playing a big part in the university’s future, benefitting students for generations to come. After many years of hard work, I’m thrilled that our vision has become a reality.”
Also attending the launch were Cllr Peter Brooks, Deputy Mayor, Royal Borough of Greenwich; university alumni Cllr Denise Hyland, Leader of Royal Borough of Greenwich, and Jason Turner, Chair of the university’s Strategic Sports Board; and Stuart Storey, sports commentator and former Olympic hurdler.
The new pitches will be in use for seven days a week and will serve 21 sports teams across the university.
They will help students clubs increase their membership levels and enable them to train at more convenient times, thereby increasing participation and team performance.