University of Derby agrees new partnership to support school sport

15 February 2016

The University of Derby has agreed a new partnership with Derbyshire Sport and the Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Association (DSSA), which will see it supporting the delivery of school sport competitions in the county and the annual Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Awards.

The partnership is part of the University of Derby’s ongoing support for sport in Derbyshire, and its work to create greater links with local schools and encourage more young people with an interest in sport to consider studying at the University.

In addition the University’s new £10.8m sports centre will play host to several county finals in the DSSA competition calendar.

Group of athletes behind school games sign

The partnership was launched at the Derbyshire School Games U16 Badminton Team Championships, organised by Derbyshire Sport, where around 50 pupils from schools across Derbyshire were competing for their school sport partnerships.

Olympic silver medallist Gail Emms attended the event, held at Etwall Leisure Centre on Thursday 11th February, and also gave a demonstration before helping to present the winners’ medals.

Gail plays for the University’s Team Derby National Badminton League franchise, and she and her team mates are just one match away from qualifying for the NBL play-offs and continuing their battle to retain their status as league champions.

Hari Punchihewa, Deputy Chief Executive and Finance Director at the University of Derby, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of Derbyshire Sport and the Derbyshire Schools’ Sports Association in this way. The University and its Team Derby brand are serious about sport and have much to offer any young person with an interest in sport.

“This includes a range of sport and exercise courses, a range of first-class facilities, a Performance Sport programme for badminton, basketball and volleyball, and scholarship and bursary opportunities for talented athletes participating in British Universities and Colleges Sport.”

Ilana Freestone, Derbyshire Sport Director, said: “Derbyshire Sport and the DSSA are excited to be working with the University of Derby in this way. This new partnership will support a range of high quality competition opportunities for young people and allow their sporting successes to continue to be celebrated at the annual awards evening.”