- The award is based on the quality of its sporting facilities, the ranking of its sports-related subjects, and the performance of its student sports teams.
- Bath also topped the subject ranking table for Sports Science.
Bath was the first UK university to offer sporting scholarships to student athletes in 1976 and now provides more than 50 each year. Jason Gardener, Amy Williams, Michael Jamieson, Samantha Murray, Sophie Kamlish, Siobhan-Marie O’Connor and Paul Blake are just some of the names of Bath-based athletes who have achieved outstanding sporting success in recent years.
World-class sporting facilities
The University, with its state-of-the-art sporting facilities, has been host to a number of high profile teams and events including the England and Australia Rugby Union teams, Olympic and Paralympic training camps, and the Invictus Games Trials for the past two years. It will also host the 2019 European Modern Pentathlon Championships, and a qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, having successfully staged the event previously in 2015.
The University’s £30million Sports Training Village (STV) attracts 1.6 million visits each year, ranging from high-performance athletes and the public to students and staff, including 43 community sports clubs.
Recent investments into the facilities include the £1.6 million London 2012 Legacy Pool, which is used by 310,000 people a year, and a £3.5 million extension to the Team Bath Gym, which is due to open next summer.
The University is also one of only six UK Sport accredited elite training centres in the country and has 13 partnerships with national sporting organisations including Pentathlon GB, British Swimming, British Rowing and the British Bobsleigh & Skeleton Association (BBSA).
Elite student sport performance
Student sport at Bath is second-to-none with more than 1,000 students representing the University in BUCS [British Universities & Colleges Sport] competitions every week. The Men’s 1st Rugby Union squad competes in the BUCS Super Rugby league bringing together the very best of British university rugby programmes from across England and Wales.
Coordinated by the Students’ Union (SU), students at Bath can choose to join from 48 sports clubs, 36 of which compete in BUCS totalling over 70 teams. New for the start of the 2017/18 academic year, the SU has also introduced Bath Active, a thriving free social sport and activity programme for students looking to get more active easily without prior experience.
Olympic & Paralympic success
Bath has more than 250 international athletes on site across a wide range of sports, many of whom study and train as part of the Dual Career programme. Twenty University-based athletes were selected for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, winning ten medals between them.
Excellent teaching and world-leading research
In addition to being named Sport University of the Year, Bath also topped the Sports Science subject ranking. The University offers four high quality undergraduate degree courses relating to sport, exercise and health, which have been consistently ranked among the top sport-related courses in the UK.
The teaching at Bath is informed by its world-leading research. Students are taught by researchers who are leaders in their respective fields, incorporating their latest research findings into their teaching, enabling students to continue to push existing boundaries and be at the forefront of their fields.
The Rugby Science team in the University’s Department for Health has played a significant role in helping to improve the safety of scrums in rugby union, working in partnership with the International Rugby Board (IRB). The ‘Crouch, Bind, Set’ technique tested and developed by Bath was trialled and implemented globally as a new rugby law in 2013 with the long term hope of reducing scrum-related injuries amongst the six million players worldwide.
Vice-Chancellor & President of the University of Bath, Professor Dame Glynis Breakwell, said: “I am absolutely thrilled that Bath has been named Sports University of the Year.
“We have always endeavoured to deliver cutting edge research which makes a difference and the best possible teaching for our students. Achieving first place in the Sports Science rankings is a testament to years of hard work by our faculty. I could not be more proud of this achievement, and the people who have worked so hard to deserve this accolade.”
Director of Sport at the University of Bath, Stephen Baddeley, commented: “To be named as Sports University of the Year is a tremendous honour and a worthy reflection of all the hard work put in by our dedicated staff, students, athletes, coaches and volunteers to make this the most vibrant and dynamic sporting environment in the country.
“Our world-class facilities inspire thousands of students each week to lead a healthy and active lifestyle, whether it is training in our gym, swimming in the Olympic-sized pool or playing sport on a competitive or recreational basis.
“It is not only students who benefit. Thanks to our thriving partnerships with national and local governing bodies, the Sports Training Village is home to elite athletes across a host of sports, including Olympic and Paralympic Champions, and the facilities are also fully open to the public with people of all ages – from toddlers through to pensioners – getting active every day.”
The University is continually looking to provide the highest quality sports facilities and in August 2017 planning permission for a new £3.5 million two-storey gym was granted, due to be built by summer 2018.