LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSIT Y
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