The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has recognised the University of Warwick’s Sport and Wellness Hub for its social impact in the West Midlands. The Sports Hub, which was opened in 2019, scooped the regional RICS Social Impact Award for its design, with the judges commending it for incorporating “smart technology and sit[ting] well within its native woodland setting”.
The Sports Hub, which includes the largest gym in higher education, was recognised for having delivered “defect-free, on time and in budget” by contractor Wilmott Dixon. Judges from the RICS commented: “The building forms a crucial part of the university’s ambition to have the most physically active campus community in the UK. The Hub is welcoming, accessible and inclusive, with attendance in the first year far surpassing expectations, in particular drawing in large numbers from the wider community.”
The Sports Hub is the key driver around the University’s active campus aims
– Lisa Dodd-Mayne
Lisa Dodd-Mayne, the University’s Director of Sport and Active Communities, praised the Sports Hub for its impact on the community, stressing its importance as a component of the University’s ‘Active Campus’ campaign. Dodd-Mayne told The Boar:
“The Sports Hub is the key driver around the University’s active campus aims. A significant investment by the University meant that the building had to deliver an experience where people felt welcome and not intimidated to do exercise. It was designed to allow people to be able to come in and be able to watch activity happening to encourage participation. It is great to see the students enjoying the spaces and knowing that Warwick has given them some amazing facilities to be proud of.”
Asked if she was surprised by the community’s response to the Sports Hub, Dodd-Mayne added: “Anyone that has been in the building will know that it is impressive from the minute you walk up to it, to going inside to the light and airy spaces. A lot of work went into planning the building and it has clearly paid off.”
The Sports Hub provided the backdrop for an opening night of upsets at Varsity 2020
The Sports Hub, which includes a 12-lane swimming pool with flexible configuration, 144-climbing-routes wall and 1,000-seater sports hall arena, is set to host the Westfield Health British Transplant Games in 2023 and was a key venue throughout Varsity 2020. The Sports Hub provided the backdrop for an opening night of upsets at Varsity 2020, as Coventry University stormed to victory in men’s basketball, and both men’s and women’s futsal.
“Watching people’s reactions when they walk into the building,” is Dodd-Mayne’s favourite thing about the Sports Hub, adding: “It is a real “wow “ factor. That, and listening to people talk about the building and how it has genuinely changed their lives.”