Sports mad Middlesex University staff and students are limbering up for Universities Week (30 April-7 May), which this year celebrates the wide range of ways that British universities are supporting the Games.
The highlight of the week at Middlesex is the launch of the University’s new Human Movement Lab in Hendon, on Tuesday 1 May. The new facility will provide students and London’s professional sports people with technology designed to analyse muscle strength, movement and speed ensuring the way athletes carry out activities like running, kicking or punching is at the absolute peak of their ability. The Team GB fencing team will be amongst the first top sports people to use the lab.
As well as the launch of the new Lab, other activities taking place for Universities Week include an awards ceremony for top achieving sports students, the launch of an Olympic themed schools photography exhibition and a conference on the way sport, business and education work together.
Universities week is run by national campaigning group Universities UK which is highlighting the support the academic community is giving to make sure London 2012 is a success. For Middlesex University, this includes training food safety officers to work at the many extra public events during the Games, and also providing hundreds of students to be used as security marshals.
A group of students and staff, including many from the University’s dance courses, will be performing in the opening and closing ceremonies and Middlesex is one of a lucky group of Universities selected to host the Olympic Torch relay just two days before the opening ceremony (25 July).
Rhonda Cohen, head of Middlesex University’s London Sport Institute, said: “Many local people are aware that we train the next generation of sports professionals through our courses. However, I think they would be surprised to learn of the many other ways Universities are creating a buzz around London 2012. We’re really proud to be taking part and looking forward to cheering on the current and former students who qualify to compete in the Games.”
“We’re particularly pleased to open the Human Movement Lab in Hendon, which alongside our recently launched Human Performance Lab, will provide amazing facilities for our students and also allow local elite sportspeople to boost their performance or to avoid injury. The Lab will be used to train the professionals aiming to work with our athletes at the Rio 2016 Games and beyond.”
Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK, said: “From supporting top athletes to providing training facilities for students and local communities, producing world-class sporting research and hosting Olympic teams from across the globe, universities are working together to contribute to the UK’s Olympic effort.
“Once again with Universities Week we hope to show that it is not just students who benefit from university, but the whole of UK society.”