Vauxhall MP and former sports minister Kate Hoey this week helped to officially launch the new Academy of Sport, Physical Activity and Wellbeing at London South Bank University.
Stewart Ross, Joanna Robinson, Binnie Crookes, Glen Pavele, Cllr Columba Blango and Professor Deian Hopkin
The Academy aims to enhance sporting excellence and healthy living both within the University and throughout the local community by being a hub for sport and exercise within London.
The launch also unveiled a new scheme aimed at helping talented athletes in Southwark and Lambeth, which has been set up between London South Bank University, Southwark and Lambeth councils, Leisure Connection and Fusion, the leisure service providers in these areas. The Free Access to National Sportspeople (FANS) scheme aims to assist elite athletes reach their full potential by reducing the financial burden of training costs and providing the opportunity for national athletes to train at their nearest local facility free of charge.
Former Olympic athlete Cllr Columba Blango, last year's Mayor of Southwark and now the council's executive member for equalities, culture and sport, Binnie Crookes, sports and recreation manager at Lambeth Council and London South Bank University's vice chancellor Professor Deian Hopkin signed the official agreement between the Boroughs, leisure service providers and the University.
"The launch of the FANS scheme is a perfect example of how the University, through its newly established Academy of Sport, Physical Activity and Wellbeing, is working in conjunction with the local community" says Stewart Ross, Academy Director.
The Sport England-funded London Active Partnership, who are hosted by the Academy, were also presented with a cheque totalling £5,962,873.00 from Joanna Robinson, regional director of Sport England, for the delivery of the Active Sports programme across ten sports in London.
Joanna Robinson said: "Sport England sees London South Bank University as a key partner in delivering increased participation in sport and physical activity across the capital. The London Plan for Sport particularly identifies Higher Education institutions as being critical in contributing to a range of agendas including participation, research, performance and community development; and the hub center being developed at LSBU will be make a vital contribution to helping Londoners to start, stay and succeed in sport."