HUDDERSFIELD is increasingly becoming the first choice university for many young people – but not for sporty students.
It has just finished in the bottom third of the British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) survey of sports facilities and activities in UK universities.
Huddersfield was listed as 107th out of 145 and gained just one star –the lowest mark out of a possible five stars – for its range and availability of indoor sports.
The university has no sports teams in the BUCs premier leagues, no swimming pool, outdoor courts nor winter pitches. Neither does it have any students on sports scholarships.
The university did, however gain a two-star mark for the availability of taught sports classes.
Top of the league was Loughborough University with 22 teams in BUCS premier leagues and impressive facilities which included a 50m pool, 233 rowing machines compared with Huddersfield’s 26, and 135 students on sports scholarships.
A spokesman for Huddersfield University said: “We are putting plans in place to improve our sports provision for students. The first stage of this will be the £22.5 million Learning and Leisure Centre which is now underway and will be completed by 2014.
“This is a major investment by the university and the complex is scheduled to include a new eight-court sports hall – almost twice the size of our current space – an 80-space fitness suite, squash courts and dance studios.
“It will re-house the Students’ Union in new purpose-built facilities and offer students access to four or five new food outlets and large retail outlet. The centre is also designed to ease access to the library and computing facilities.”
The new centre will be located on Wakefield Road on the site of the current sports hall and Shorehead buildings.
A spokesman for the Complete University Guide, which commissioned the sports survey, said: “Sport plays a large part in the lives of many young people and in some cases will be the decisive factor in their choice of university.
“The opportunity to take part in sport, at any level, enhances the university experience and would-be students will increasingly take this into account.
“Many of the athletes competing in London 2012 over the next few weeks have developed their skills while studying at UK universities.”
A report for Universities Week earlier this year revealed that over the last 20 years 61% of Team GB Olympic Games medallists and 65% of Team GB gold medallists have been to university.