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Denise Lewis to launch new sports Institute


Denise Lewis The Institute of Sport aims to inspire the next generation of sport professionals through teaching, research and increasing participation in sport.

Retired British heptathlete Denise, who was awarded an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters by the University in September, will launch the Institute at an event at the Walsall Campus on Monday, 27 October 2014.

The Institute brings together all the University’s sporting activities, including degree courses, multi-million pound facilities, research, staff expertise and sports participation for students, staff and the community. It also aims to develop promising sports scholars.

The University has invested in facilities at its Walsall Campus to ensure it offers some of the leading sporting facilities in the country. These include a 12-court sports hall, floodlit synthetic athletics track and football pitch, plus a 20m x 10m swimming pool, tennis courts, and extensive sports fields.

In addition there are a well-equipped set of physiology, biomechanics and social science labs, which are used for teaching and for sport, exercise, and health related research. The facilities include a scanner which tests bone health and is used to provide advice about body composition and potential injury risks to professional footballers and elite athletes.

The Campus is also home to the £1 million British Judo Centre of Excellence, which Denise Lewis opened in November last year.

As well as ensuring students have access to state-of-the-art equipment and can learn in a high quality environment, the University has an important role in the community and the facilities serve the local region.

Denise, who is from Wolverhampton, won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is now a highly respected commentator for BBC Sport.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “We are delighted to be welcoming Denise back to the University to launch our Institute of Sport. As an honorary graduate of the University, she is a true role model to our students and her passion for increasing participation in sport mirrors our own commitment to creating opportunities for staff, students and the community.”

Director of the Institute of Sport, Kay Biscomb, added: “The launch event for the Institute of Sport will be an historic moment for us at the University of Wolverhampton as we bring together all of our sporting provision to provide a strategic lead for sport within the University.”

Denise received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Letters from the University in September, recognising her sporting success and charity work.

She established the British record of 6831, was inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011 and in July 2012, carried the Olympic Flame on its Torch Relay across the UK.

Since her retirement in 2005, Denise has continued to be actively involved in athletics, writing for the Telegraph and becoming a highly respected commentator for BBC Sport, working on the London 2012 Olympics and most recently the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Lewis won the Sports Journalists' Association Sportswoman of the Year in 1997, 1998 and 2000, a record three times, while also being runner up in 1996. Lewis won the British Athletics Writers' Association Female Athlete of the Year four times. She won the Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year a record three times, winning it in 1994, 1998 and 2000.
She has twice been runner up in the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, in 1998 and 2000.


The launch will take place at the Walsall Campus on Monday, 27 October from 4pm.

If you would like to attend, please contact Vickie Warren in the Media Relations Office on 01902 322736 or email:

Date Issued: Monday, 20 October 2014

For more information please contact the Media Relations Office on 01902 32 2736 or 01902 518647.

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