A NEW all-inclusive sports arena could be built in Worcester as the city’s university aims to become Britain’s centre for disability sport.
Prof David Green, chief executive at the University of Worcester, told the Observer talks were under way over the possibility of creating a new centre which could cater for a wide range of sports.
His comments came at the official opening of the University Arena on Wednesday (January 29) which has received glowing praise for its accessibility for disabled athletes since it opened its doors in April.
Prof Green said he was delighted with what the £15million arena had achieved as it has been named the venue for the 2015 European Wheelchair Basketball Championships.
But he believed the university could do even more to offer people with disabilities the chance to play sport.
“The arena is very good for certain sports, such as netball, basketball and badminton, but for other sports, such as cricket which has quite a big following and tennis it is not a good facility for,” Prof Green said.
“We have started discussions with other sports about the possibility of further extending and creating new facilities because we are very serious about becoming the country’s centre for disability sport.
“Therefore, I hope to be able to make a string of announcement on behalf of the university about future developments over next few months.
He added: “We have got more space on this site, but we also have other landholders in Worcester where new facilities may go.
“It is a fluid period, but as the arena has been such a success it breeds further success, so there will be new propositions coming forward over the next year or two.”
Prof Green also confirmed the university are looking at building further student accommodation which would be accessible for people in wheelchairs.
“When we put up our new halls of residence about four years ago we made sure that every room was big enough so a wheelchair user could turn themselves around in, which is very usual for student accommodation,” he said.
“If you’re in a wheelchair, why should you not be able to visit someone else’s room and be able to turn themselves around in. It’s only correct.”