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National Sprinting Star Marlon Devonish Launches New University Sports Complex and Art Collection

Originally Published 28 October 2003

Coventry-born world-class athlete and Godiva Harriers star Marlon Devonish is to officially open new sports facilities and unveil paintings at the University of Warwick on Friday 31st October 2003, at 12.30pm following a £3 million refurbishment and extension of the Sports Centre, which now boasts even better facilities for the University and the local community.

The complex now offers local people, elite sporting professionals, students and staff access to some of the best sporting facilities in the country.

Marlon Devonish, 27, is an established world great and has won several UK, European and World titles, on his own and as a member of the UK relay team. An indoor event specialist, he is man of the moment when it comes to the 200m, after winning gold in Birmingham at the 2003 World Indoor Athletics Championships. Devonish also recently helped win a silver medal by running the 3rd leg in the 4x100m relay at the World Athletics Championships in Paris this year.

Godiva Harriers star Marlon Devonish, said: "The new facilities benefit both the University and the community. Warwick now has international-standard sports facilities that rival any UK University, and are an asset to both athletics and Coventry."

“The running track at the Westwood site is used as a training ground by the Godiva Harriers, and the first class facilities have helped secure first class results.”

New facilities include a state-of the-art air-conditioned fitness room, sports hall with Desso sprung linoleum flooring, studio, reception, changing rooms and floodlit artificial turf pitch. The investment has provided upgraded weight-training equipment and a new Health and Fitness Suite with extensive aerobic and resistance-training stations.

The event will also see the unveiling of new paintings that depict diverse aspects of sport by local contemporary artist Lesley Daniels, from Leamington Spa, that add to the existing collection.

Terry Monnington, Director of Physical Education and Sport at the University of Warwick, said: “Local people are heavily involved with sport at the University and over 1000 Coventry people regularly use the facilities, including the squash courts, swimming pool, the "Bear Rock" indoor climbing wall, running track and fitness suite.”

The University is a training base for Coventry City FC Academy and the City of Coventry Swimming Club. It is the also the home venue for several local sports clubs, as well as hosting 72 student sports clubs, offering the chance to try out everything from Aikido and Archery to Volleyball and Yoga.

Plans are now also underway to replace the existing athletics track surface at the University’s Westwood site following a Lottery award of £100,000, which the University will match. This will particularly benefit the Godiva Club and local schools, who regularly use the athletics facilities.

Among those attending the opening of the newly completed complex are Vice-Chancellor, Professor David Vandelinde and Director of Physical Education and Sport, Terry Monnington.

You are invited to send a photographer and/or reporter to cover the event at 12.30pm at the University of Warwick Sports Centre

For more information contact: Jenny Murray, Communications Office, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574 255, Mobile: 07876 2177 40, Email: Jennifer.murray@warwick.ac.uk