Paul Tilley, Lauren Steadman & Graham Galbraith

Ravelin Sports Centre officially opened by Paralympian Lauren Steadman MBE

13 March 2023

3 minute read

The former university student, sports scholar and Paralympic legend Lauren Steadman MBE officially opened the University of Portsmouth’s Ravelin Sports Centre at a ceremony on Friday 10 March 2023.

Lauren Steadman MBE said: "I'm incredibly proud and honoured that I was asked to come back and open the centre. The students' experience of sport at the University of Portsmouth is just going to go through the roof. It's great for student experience, the staff and the wider community."

Paul Tilley, Director of Sport and Recreation at the University, said: "Ravelin Sports Centre really is a statement of intent for our University - a statement that we never settle for 2nd best, that we set the highest standards for sustainability, design and quality, we put student experience at the heart of our offer and we play a vital part in supporting the wider Portsmouth community. I’m sure you will all agree that this building symbolizes the best about the University of Portsmouth and sets our mark and aspirations for the whole of the University and our future growth and impact."

Graham Galbraith CBE, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Portsmouth, said: "Engaging every student in a life-changing experience is extremely important to us. Universities are a place for growth, personally and academically, and we strive to make everyone’s student experience consistently outstanding. Ravelin Sports Centre provides a platform to encourage growth and development for not just our students but also our staff, alumni and the public."

Laura Steadman talking

Lauren Steadman MBE officially opened Ravelin Sports Centre in Portsmouth on Friday, March 10.

The design of the Sports Centre reflects its parkland setting and it includes a host of high-quality facilities including an eight-court sports hall, eight lane 25m swimming pool, 175 station fitness suite, multipurpose studios, squash courts, a climbing and bouldering wall rising from the basement through the building and a ski simulator.

In addition, the building is one of the UK’s most sustainable sports centres. The design received a top rating of ‘Outstanding’ from BREEAM UK, the world’s leading sustainability assessment for buildings, and is set to achieve a BREEAM outstanding rating for its construction. The swimming pool is naturally lit, with natural ventilation used where possible to minimise energy usage with water conservation measures in place such as the pool water being reused to flush the toilets. A wildflower amphitheatre events space has developed biodiversity in the surrounding areas.

The design also involved improvements to Ravelin Park, including an entrance plaza between the sports building and the University Library, new pedestrian routes, a wildflower meadow and an urban orchard, more trees in the park and opening up views to the historic buildings on Museum Road.