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The York Sport Union has announced a number of sporting developments across both University campuses in the coming months.
The current JLD at the Sports Centre officially closed for business last Friday and is to be replaced by a new pitch behind the Sports Tent today. However, some college sport fixtures may continue to be played on the old JLD in the next fortnight, but without the use of floodlights.
The new Astroturf will continue to be known as the JLD, named after the father of University chancellor Greg Dyke, who part-funded the construction of the original pitch in 1996. It will be a sand-dressed surface unlike the old JLD, which is sand filled. The new facility has Olympic-standard dugouts and goals, and will be floodlit. All goals on the current JLD will then be used for club training on 22 Acres.
Furthermore, a county-standard eight-lane athletics track is to be built on the site of the current JLD, which will be used by the City of York Athletics Club as well as the University athletics club. A 500-seater set stand will also be built alongside a pavilion on the site, although the latter will not be constructed until next year.
Speaking about the development, Rob Paulson, University athletics club president, told Nouse, "It's a really exciting time for our club as the new track gives us the opportunity to provide top athletics coaching on-site. Next year we will be able to offer training that accommodates for students at every level. We are confident that this will help us develop our reputation."
Funding has been sourced through a joint development between the University and City of York Council with the support of UK Athletics. The council are relocating the city Athletics Club to campus, because their Huntington Stadium home is set to be demolished to make way for the York Community Stadium, which will house both York City Football Club and York Knights RLFC.
It has also been announced that work is underway to make the Sports Tent into a permanent structure, with this development being complete in time for the Autumn Term.
York Sport has also announced further sporting developments on Heslington East. Work is continuing on the new cycling velodrome, with the tarmacking of the track currently taking place. It is anticipated that the work will be complete in time for the Grand Depart of the Tour de France, which begins in Yorkshire on 6 July.
Meanwhile, a new social basketball court is set to be built between Langwith and Constantine colleges, with construction beginning in early June and taking five weeks to complete.
Speaking about the developments, Keith Morris, Head of Sport at York Sport, commented, "The new JLD looks fantastic, and with the new athletics track, will offer huge benefits to the sports facilities on Heslington West. The track will also mean that the University athletics club that did so well at the BUCS championships recently will not have to travel off campus to train, which is to be welcomed."
Cass Brown, York Sport President, "York is so lucky to have sports facilities that are developing so quickly. Just a few months ago I was commenting on the erection of the tennis dome and now it's the brand new JLD--It's a beautiful pitch that will be welcomed warmly by the Hockey Club as well as external hockey clubs and other sports that can make use of it. I can't wait to see UYHC christen it on Tuesday!"