(L - R): Sir David Bell and Sir Bob Murray at the Beacon of Light.

Sunderland’s £19m Beacon of Light facility set to become ‘sports hub for students’

As part of a ‘unique’ collaboration with the University of Sunderland, the Beacon of Light will become a sports hub for all students.

The new partnership will help ensure that the University’s student community has easy access to high quality sports provision wherever in Sunderland they live, play or study.

The partnership will further enhance the University’s sports offer by giving all students access to the wide range of activities based at the Beacon of Light. The partnership adds to the University’s current sports provision which is based around CitySpace at the heart of the City Campus in Sunderland.

The initial phases of the partnership have seen the University’s Futsal, American Football, Netball and Basketball clubs utilising the Beacon, with expansion plans which will offer a wider range of the Beacon’s facilities to students, including badminton and table tennis.

Students will also be able to make use of the different spaces available throughout the Beacon of Light, including the indoor arena, rooftop 4g pitch, classrooms, e-sports facilities, World of Work Zones and café.

Throughout the coming months the partnership will further develop to benefit programmes hosted by the University of Sunderland and run in the Beacon.

As the home of the Foundation of Light, Sunderland AFC’s charitable arm the Beacon of Light opened its doors in 2018 and was the first community hub of its kind, providing opportunities for all ages and abilities; a space for sport, events, education and wellbeing.

Foundation of Light Chair of Trustees Sir Bob Murray commented: “We’re really looking forward to working with the University of Sunderland. Through collaborating together, we’re opening up further opportunities for young people, as we look to share our resources to engage students and help them achieve their ambitions.”

Sir David Bell, Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive of the University of Sunderland, added: “It is important that in addition to world class education, our students have access to a full range of opportunities to enhance their student experience with us.

“Playing sport and adopting a healthy lifestyle can be a big part of this and I am delighted that our new partnership with the Beacon of Light will not only enable our elite teams to practise and train for longer but also offer an increased range of non-competitive sporting opportunities for all students.”

By Matthew Neville – Senior Correspondent, Bdaily

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