Centre for Sport has biggest-ever revamp

Thursday, 29 October 2009


Oxford Brookes University's Centre for Sport at Gipsy Lane has unveiled a huge refurbishment of its gym and climbing wall.

Oxford Brookes University's Centre for Sport at Gipsy Lane has unveiled a huge £175,000 refurbishment of its gym and climbing wall.

The gym and wall at the Headington sports centre have been completely overhauled in what has been the biggest revamp in the building's history.

Climbing wall Rock Solid has seen a £100,000 rebuild and extension to make it 50% bigger. A further £50,000 was spent replacing 27 machines in the gym's health and fitness suite with state-of-the-art kit.

Keith Kelly, director of sport at the university, said: 'With this upgrade of the gym and climbing wall, we are offering some of the best sports facilities in the region.

'The gym has world-class equipment now and the climbing wall is as good as any in the south of England.”

All 27 resistance training machines in the gym have been replaced with sophisticated equipment. There are a further 50 machines for cardio workouts.

'We have replaced much of the 15-year-old kit with machines with more functions so one machine now has a lot more usage,” explained duty manager Tom Grenshaw.

The Rock Solid refit means there are three climbing areas.

Wall manager Richard Cole (pictured) said: 'We decided to take over and convert a squash court to meet demand and upgrade for the 21st century. The old wall, although built in the 1990s, seemed very much a product of the 1980's.”

The major building project took 10 weeks.

In total, there will be 60 problems in the new bouldering room (boulder problems are short climbs where a rope is not needed), together with 75 roped routes.

Other improvements to the sports centre include a new floor in the squash courts, resurfacing of the sports hall floor as well as refurbishment of the Astroturf pitches, the sauna cabin and the changing rooms.

Further facilities at the Centre include a free weights Olympic training room, a sports hall for five-a-side football, basketball and volleyball, two squash courts, a floodlit synthetic turf pitch, an aerobics studio and martial arts dojo.

Regular classes on offer include aerobics, circuits, women's boxercise and martial arts.

To find out more about the gym, please contact Tom Grenshaw on 01865 484373 or email jointhegym@brookes.ac.uk.

For the climbing wall, please contact Richard Cole on 01865 484370, email climb@brookes.ac.uk or log onto the climbing wall website.