Former world champion and Olympic silver medallist Steve Cram opened the inaugural event at Edge Hill University’s new running track today (Thursday 24th September) as part of his role as Yorkshire Bank ambassador.
Steve, who received a CBE in the 2015 New Year’s Honours List, cut the ribbon to mark the opening of the eight-lane floodlit competition standard track. He then led skills-based coaching sessions for local school children, assisted by Edge Hill PE students. Following that, Steve – a regular BBC commentator – gave a talk on understanding high performance to students and staff before answering questions about his remarkable athletics career.
The running track is on par with the biggest running tracks in the UK, excluding the London Olympic stadium, and one of the largest in Europe. It forms part of the new £30m state-of-the-art indoor and outdoor sports complex at the University, which was named University of the Year in the Times Higher Education Awards in November 2014.
Dr John Cater, Vice-Chancellor at Edge Hill University, said: “It is an honour to have celebrated athlete Steve Cram visit our brand new running track - one of the biggest in the UK and Europe - and to show him the international competition standard facilities our Sports Centre has to offer. I know students and staff will be inspired to hear his talk and benefit from his expertise.”
Earlier in the day, as part of his role as Yorkshire Bank ambassador, Steve gave a keynote speech on the psychology of success to leading business people in Merseyside, in partnership with Professional Liverpool, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Liverpool. Following a lunch attended by more than 150 invited guests, he also took part in a lively Q&A session. The visit was arranged by Lorraine Sutter, relationship manager at Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Merseyside.
Stewart Cook, Head of Yorkshire Bank’s Business and Private Banking Centre in Merseyside, added: “Steve Cram is one of the finest middle distance runners of all time and is widely recognised for his continued contribution to developing athletics talent across Britain. It was fantastic to watch on as he officially opened the fantastic new facilities at Edge Hill University and then as he shared training tips with local students. This followed a very successful event earlier in the day where he highlighted the links between success on the track and in the business world with an inspiring speech in front of leading members of the Merseyside business community.”