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THE HIGH LIFE Former CEO of UK Sport John Steele became director of sport at Loughborough University in 2014 to lead an ambitious development programme. He tells Tom Walker how the new Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel is the last piece of the university’s ‘facility jigsaw’


revealed plans to open an

building an ecosystem for elite sport for

Tell us about the altitude rooms at the hotel

innovative new hotel, targeting

a while. We felt that an important part

Many sports will take their athletes on

elite athletes who visit and train

of the set up would be to offer bespoke,

altitude training camps, which usually means

at the university. Designed by

specialist accommodation to elite athletes

travelling abroad. We wanted to take the

David Morley Architects, the

– providing the correct nutrition and

travel out of the equation and offer athletes

Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel (EAC) will

everything else they need. So the EAC is

the advantage of high altitude here.

feature 44 bedrooms and be located at

really the last piece of the jigsaw for us

the heart of the university’s extensive

and we are very excited about it.

oughborough University has

At Loughborough, we have been

There are only a handful of facilities in the world that can provide the kind of altitude

sports facilities, adjacent to the Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium. Described as the first of its kind in Europe, the hotel will house 20 specially-designed altitude rooms, allowing athletes to “live high while training low”. The rooms will prepare visitors’ bodies for competition by improving their oxygen carrying ability as well as their maximum oxygen take-up. Other athlete-centric facilities at the hotel include fully-accessible bedrooms – capable of accommodating para-athletes – a nutrition lounge, an athletes’ relaxation area and a seminar space for 30 people.

Where did the idea come from to set up a hotel for athletes? Loughborough University is part of the national landscape for elite sport and one of six elite performance centres in the UK Sport network. The purpose of the centres is to have all the necessary support for athletes in one place.


ISSUE 2 2018

The Elite Athlete Centre and Hotel will feature 44 bedrooms and 20 altitude rooms


Profile for Leisure Media

Sports Management Issue 2 2018  

Sports Management Issue 2 2018