New sports pitches for students and community unveiled

26 January 2024
Time to read
4 minute read
A wide shot photo of two student football teams playing a game under the floodlights
The new pitches in use at Inspire Suffolk

Students from the University of Suffolk played their first league game on a new all-weather 3G pitch which has opened as part of the University’s new range of sports provision.

A partnership between the University of Suffolk and leading youth charity, Inspire, has delivered new sports facilities including a 3G pitch, two grass pitches and floodlights, which are located at Inspire’s Ipswich site on Lindbergh Road.

The aim of the partnership is to increase access to high quality sport pitches and improve participation for both students at the university and the wider community and to support overall health and wellbeing opportunities in the town.

The men’s BUCS (British Universities & Colleges Sport) football team were first to use the pitch since its completion at the start of the year, and in the first game on the new home ground, took on Queen Mary (Barts), winning 2-1.

Tim Greenacre, University of Suffolk's Chief Operating Officer, said: “The first game on the new pitch is a real milestone for the university and our commitment to providing high quality sports facilities for our students. 

“Our partnership with Inspire has not only delivered BUCS standard pitches but is also realising our long-term vision for improving sport and wellbeing facilities at the university, as well as supporting the needs of clubs and groups in local community.”

The 3G pitch will be available to book by community groups from February while the two grass pitches, which are still being cultivated, will be ready for use until later in the year.

Terry Baxter, CEO of Inspire, said: “We believe that sports and physical activity play a pivotal role in enhancing health and wellbeing. We are excited for this partnership to bring the local community closer together and to support young people’s health and wellbeing.”

Katie Pickard, President (Activities and Wellbeing) University of Suffolk Students’ Union, said: “Being able to access sport and wellbeing facilities is a huge priority for students, and the first match on the new 3G pitch at Inspire marks the start of an exciting year with new facilities being unveiled.”

In addition to the new sports pitches, the university will also open a new gym at the University’s Ipswich campus in the coming months.

Finley Walker, BUCS team captain and final year sports performance analysis student said: “This investment will help us as a team and we’ll be able to perform better knowing that the university recognises how well we’re doing and what it means to us. 

“When new students come and look at the university, they’ll see, one, how good the football team is and two, how good the facilities are.”

Student football players during the first game on the Inspire pitch
The first game on the new pitch.
A photo of the University of Suffolk men's football team on the new Inspire Suffolk pitch ahead of the first game
The squad for the first game on the new pitch

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