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Hey everyone, I hope everyone’s well and is looking after themselves. I wanted to update everyone on an important project I’m working on and very passionate about, sports facilities at UCL. 

During last year’s Leadership Race you elected me on a manifesto of improving our sports facilities - and I have made this position clear to UCL. The current sports ground owned by the union (Shenley) is too far away and impractical for students at UCL, resulting in additional spending on hiring external venues (money that could be spent improving our teams). These external venues are often not designed for students, causing you to waste time and money on long commutes for subpar facilities. Perhaps most importantly - TeamUCL needs a home.

What’s happened so far:

  • We’ve secured funding from UCL to hire expert property consultants to provide valuations of our sports ground at Shenley, and to look at potential other sports grounds across London for purchase. We’ve had regular meetings with these consultants, where I have worked with them and the sports team to outline the criteria we require for a fully fledged university sports ground. 

  • We have also set up a working group alongside the Somerstown community sports centre, of which I am a trustee, where we have redeveloped a strong working relationship with the school. This will enable us to ensure that the facilities at Somerstown are being maintained to a good standard, and we can get the best use out of the facilities for our students.

  • We’re having ongoing discussions with the team from UCL East, where we are trying to build as many connections with different local authorities as possible, including the London Legacy project and other facilities hire companies to try and secure some of the best sports facilities possible, at the best deal for our students.

  • We’re constantly raising the importance of UCL having its own sports ground and facilities to senior management and relevant staff at UCL, within a reasonable distance from campus, designed for student sports and with students as a priority. I presented a to the new provost, Micheal Spence, about the sports facilities situation at UCL and made the case for the need for a new sports ground, and was greeted with overwhelming support for a new sports ground and facilities that benefit all students at UCL. 

  • Last week, we had the UCL East student forum, where students voiced their concerns about sports facilities, and the head of UCL East described their realisation of how important having control of our own sports facilities is to students.

The mission to have world-class sporting facilities at UCL was never going to be an overnight job and was always going to be a long term project. Progress is being made on the project, connections are being made and I am changing the perspectives of UCL staff when it comes to university sports.

More news soon.