With the opening of the University of Worcester Arena, "unique facilities" have been made available to the local community and sports clubs around the Midlands. The venue, which hosted the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships, serves students as well as elite and professional athletes.
Located in a conservation zone adjacent to the River Severn, the building was constructed on the site of a derelict, former fruit and vegetable market; long since closed. Capable of hosting major indoor sports events, with a seated capacity of 1850 people, the Arena is the first indoor facility in the country to be built specifically with the needs of wheelchair athletes in mind.
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Already the 5,300m² Arena, built at a cost of £15m and featuring Euroclad's Elite 3 roofing system, has been a tremendous success; in its first year the Arena staged 70 major national and international sporting events and the facility saw in excess of 500,000 visitors.
Facilities include teaching and coaching spaces, treatment and first aid rooms, a café, media and hospitality suites and other support services. In recent years, the University has become a Centre for Coach Education, offering courses at all levels as well as offering extensive sports science support to a range of sporting organisations.
Worcester University currently provides sporting expertise and support in the areas of performance analyses, fitness and nutritional advice to organisations including Worcester County Cricket Club, Worcester Wolves, Aston Villa FC, Birmingham City FC and West Bromwich Albion FC . The Arena is also the home for the Worcester Wolves basketball team and the training base for GB Men's Wheelchair Basketball team, as well as being the venue for a wide range of memorable sporting events.
Mick Donavan, Head of Institute of Sports and Exercise Science at Worcester University described the Arena as, "A fantastic facility where our students can develop as coaches, teachers and players. From beginners to elite level performers – there is now an opportunity for every-one at the University to benefit from this exciting venue".
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