College gets new sports facilities

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An exciting major refurbishment is being planned for Dumfries & Galloway College’s Dumfries Campus, where a new, state of the art sports and fitness facility will be the first large-scale estate development since the relocation of the College in 2008 from Heathhall to the Crichton location.

Following a review of demand for places on sports courses, appropriate progression opportunities and a desire to incorporate work experience in the programme to support employment in the industry, surveys and discussions were undertaken with students, staff and external stakeholder groups. These culminated in an identified need to review the estate and resources allocated to this area of the curriculum.

The increased space and resources will immediately offer enhanced curriculum delivery and widen student employment opportunities. The college development to be completed in August 2013 will be sandwiched between two major inspirational sporting events; London 2012 Olympics and Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

There are many award winners among college students from across the curriculum, and sport students are no strangers to the sporting awards spotlight: Lee Donaldson (National Sports Volunteering Champion); Keiran Jardine (Scottish Disability Sport Championship); Philip Mc Ghee, Taylor Hyslop and Leon Ramsay (Colleges Scotland Sports Rugby 7s Champions), to name a few. With the new facilities and enthusiastic staff the college expects to add many more names to its growing list of sporting award winners and ambassadors.

Awards are an incentive but so is fitness, wellbeing and promoting a healthy lifestyle. This is where the list of achievers will be greatest. Two members of staff demonstrated this recently when Helen Pedley (Director of HR) and Stephen Head (Student Adviser) completed the London Marathon following a disciplined training routine.

Sports students also undertake many activities with community groups as part of their course study to promote sport and fitness; this includes a working partnership with active schools to promote volunteering in the local community, supporting local schools and events.

Students volunteer in several roles including coaches, leaders and stewards. They contribute to delivery of coaching sessions and various sports events. Students benefit by improving their confidence, communication and organisational skills. They also benefit from learning how to deal with the public, control groups and problem solve, and whilst doing this they improve their employability by creating a network of local contacts and gaining experience in a vocational setting.

Carol Turnbull, principal, said: “Demand for sports-related courses has grown steadily over the past few years as people become more aware of the importance of health and wellbeing and I am certain that this investment will provide first class facilities for our students and communities. As well as offering an enhanced curriculum that will lead to increased employment opportunities, we aim to attract sports athletes from across Scotland to access these facilities and the expertise of our staff.”

The new extended facility will add a further 232.1 square meters of floor space, making a total of 908.6 square meters. The current sport and fitness facilities will be extended into adjoining office space that sits at the front of the building to the left of the main entrance on the ground floor. The new facilities will include a wide variety of cardio fitness machines, weights machines, free weights; stretch and floor work out area. Two impressive new changing facilities will each house showers, lockers, toilets, vanity, grooming and shaving facilities with the existing disability changing facilities between the two. The stand alone complex will also have its own reception with trainer consultation and towel hire.

The college appointed consultants SC Collective to undertake the planning and development work to ensure a sports and fitness facility that would be “fit for purpose” for 2013 and beyond.