22 July 2015

Local people will be able to train like gold medal winner Jess Ennis-Hill thanks to the installation of Olympic-level technology at the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium.

The unique project, which aims to increase participation and promote physical activity, was launched at an event at the stadium to showcase the new equipment.

The training facility on Woodbourn Road has been fitted with technology used to support elite athletes – which will be available for all users. This will give everyone a chance to perfect their training by monitoring lap times, receiving tips on their technique and viewing instant replays.

The project has been developed by Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sports Engineering Research and is funded by the University and Sheffield City Council in partnership.

Sheffield Hallam has allocated £125,000 from its Higher Education Innovation Funds and Sheffield City Council contributed a further £25,000 from its Athletics Development Fund to pay for the high-tech equipment.

Dr John Kelley, Project Lead and Sports Engineer at Sheffield Hallam University, said “Our unique project allows schools, running clubs, students and anyone else using the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium access to gold-standard facilities. Whatever your ability, anyone can come along and have the experience of using the kind of technology used by our sporting superstars.

“This has obvious benefits for people already involved in local athletics groups, but we want to use this project as a way to engage the wider community. This is about attracting new people to the sport and showing how becoming active can also be lots of fun.”

Councillor Isobel Bowler, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods, said “We now have excellent facilities and the latest high-tech equipment available at the stadium for athletes of all levels. I believe this is a venue that the city can be proud of and I hope will be used by many more athletes, students and schools in the future.”

Notes for Editors:
• The Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium features an eight lane running track, pole vault and high jump areas; long jump and triple jump track and pits a throws field for shot, discuss, javelin and hammer. Prices are £3.10 for junior athletes and £4.50 for adult athletes. More information can be found at Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium.
• See picture attached of Dr John Kelley and Mike Corden, Sheffield Athletics coach, with some of the equipment at the Sheffield Hallam University City Athletics Stadium.
For press information: contact Ian Turgoose in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 4025 or email pressoffice@shu.ac.uk