Athletics is a key sport for the University of Birmingham, with over 450 student members in its club, and a number of notable achievements in the last 18 months. The completion of the new athletics track in 2017, the development of the in-house Performance Centre for nurturing athletic talent, and the success of scholar Sarah McDonald being selected to represent Team GB in this year’s Gold Coast Commonwealth Games are just a few of the athletic successes. This fantastic new recognition from England Athletics will hopefully continue to drive the future stars to the University of Birmingham, and provide a strong and beneficial partnership.
The England Athletics Charter Mark scheme recognises institutions that provide a well-rounded athletics offering – from students who are new to athletics, to elite scholars. The Gold standard, granted when the institution excels across the board, was awarded to the University of Birmingham after considering the broad offering in regards to providing both the support for the elite athletes in their dual careers, and a welcoming environment for any students who want to get involved at a participation level. In addition, the University met the majority of the key criteria, including offering the full range of competition structures, access to the world-class facilities, lifestyle mentors for bursary athletes, nutritional and physiological support and an acclimatization chamber. This official badge of honour is truly a reflection of the outstanding programme that the University of Birmingham can offer, and Zena Wooldridge OBE, Director of Sport, emphasised how fantastic it was to have been acknowledged for the standard.
‘It’s an honour to have been awarded the Gold Charter Mark by England Athletics. Our team work so hard to provide a wide range of opportunities to offer our athletes, from beginner to elite, and this recognition is a great testament to the work all of UBSport is doing. It is of key importance to us to be able to offer our aspiring talent the best options we can to succeed in their sport, and the dedication, commitment and pride our team has to be able to deliver this will only be strengthened with this partnership.’
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 Birmingham’s facilities, programme for athletes and opportunities to get involved made it a clear contender for the top status. We want to congratulate the University of Birmingham for its Gold Charter Mark status.’
The Gold Charter Mark recognises that future students at all levels will receive an outstanding sporting experience in Athletics – whether they are looking to get involved and develop in a welcoming environment, or enhance their progression as an elite athlete. As one of only three universities that have been awarded a Charter Mark, and the first to get the Gold, it’s a true reflection of the positive work the University of Birmingham is doing to provide the best sporting experience across the board.
To find out more about our Athletics Club, visit the website.